If you’ve ever been to a sleepover, you may have witnessed a family performing an eerie ritual, like holding hands before eating or playing charades after dinner. Michael Flynn’s family thing is firing up the grill, standing in a line, and reciting a famed QAnon oath—which was just a loving familial gesture that has absolutely nothing to do with QAnon.
In a new filing in a $75 million libel suit against CNN, Michael Flynn’s brother Jack and sister-in-law Leslie assert that that on Independence Day 2020, they merely held up their hands and repeated a “July 4 statement” including the QAnon slogan “where we go one, we go all” as a “statement of support for each other.”
“The Flynn’s [sic] repetition of the phrase ‘where we go one we go all’ at the July 4, 2020 barbecue did not signify any kind of support for QAnon,” the filing reads. “It was not an oath of allegiance to QAnon, or any kind of oath at all. It was a simple, family, July 4 statement of support for each other.” The initial complaint, filed on March 25th, says that the phrase was inscribed on a bell on one of John F. Kennedy’s sailboats. It in fact comes from the 1996 movie “White Squall” starring Jeff Bridges.
“Plaintiffs may want us to think that they said the QAnon Slogan because they were feeling poetic or having a great fondness for 1990s sailing movies, but the truth is that they said it and then publicized their having done so on Jack Flynn’s Twitter feed,” CNN later remarked in a motion to dismiss. (Here’s Jack’s archived tweet, marked “WWG1WGA,” in the customary QAnon styling of the rebel cry.)
The Flynns’ filing goes on to say that connecting the Flynns with QAnon “is no different than accusing them of being Nazi sympathizers.” Interesting.
Many families swear oaths to each other on the July 4th holiday (possibly), but the oath in its entirety bears a striking coincidental resemblance to Q’s oath, which they had urged followers to repeat weeks earlier. The June 24th drop, captioned “take the oath,” is the standard congressional oath of office with “where we go one, we go all” tacked on. It reads, in full:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. WWG1WGA [Where we go one, we go all].
The Flynn family oath, which Michael Flynn appears to read off of an iPhone or tiny booklet, goes:
I [name] do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter: so help me God. Where we go one, we go all. God bless America.
Michael Flynn posted the video to Twitter, which suspended his account in the midst of a QAnon purge.
The archived tweet shows that Flynn tagged the post #TaketheOath, which the filing claims that CNN “falsely claimed” was a “QAnon hashtag.” (QAnon followers, including Oregon Senate candidate Jo Rae Perkins, used the hashtag with the oath, which BBC reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh reported trended for days, some tagging Michael Flynn, who also added it to his Twitter bio three days after Q posted “Take the oath.”) In March 2021, he delivered what sounds like a rousing speech at a non-QAnon conference filled with QAnon leaders and believers, who’ve worshipped him as a leader of a Deep State rebellion.
That’s the information. You can make the judgment quietly in your mind or else face the Flynn legal team.
The issue, the new filing states, was that CNN conveniently clipped the “God bless America” part in a segment titled on YouTube “QAnon followers react to Trump refusing to condemn them.” For what it’s worth, CNN also clipped the preceding verbatim oath of office on which Q also coincidentally modeled their oath.
“In the clip, CNN intentionally edited out the oath to the United States Constitution and omitted the words ‘God Bless America’, fraudulently making it appear and insinuating that the Flynns pledged an oath of allegiance to QAnon,” the filing reads.
Gizmodo has asked the Flynns’ attorney whether this is a family tradition or just a phrase that inspired them last year and will update the post if we hear back.