Southwest Pilot Drapes “Don’t Tread On Me” Flag From Cockpit Window

It is wrong to ask pilots to fly the plane, and to save workplace grievances for later hours.
Southwest Airlines continues to face operational problems. The Dallas-based airline cancelled 435 flights yesterday and delayed 1530, disrupting more than half of its schedule. Already today, delays and cancellations are increasing and will only get worse.

While we have speculated about the cause of these delays, I won't repeat it today. Instead, I will say that I am convinced that vaccine resistance is a factor in this string if operational meltdowns.

Instead, I will focus on the second image above. The American Revolution saw the creation of the Dont Tread On Me flag (also known as the Gadsden Flag). It is used today as a symbol of limited government, but it was historically used to represent resistance.

I wish that pilots would stop trying to fly the plane and instead follow the controversial path of false equivalences and equivalencies. I understand that politics and aviation are intertwined in many aspects of our lives. This is why the livelihoods of many pilots who oppose the mandate are in jeopardy.

But I don't think it's unreasonable to ask pilots for their support and to respect the fact that there is a place and time for protest, and not onboard an airplane. Picket if you wish. View From the Wing examines the efforts of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the Texas Legislature to stop vaccine mandates. This raises a lot of legal questions.

However, I don't want my pilots to be partisans in any political debate. They have a greater duty to ensure the safety and health of all aboard. It is not about being able walk and chew gum simultaneously. This is about being professional, which means that you must not engage in resistance to the primary mission.


Southwest's biggest problem is its lack of organization and inability to manage its resources. However, I feel a resistance growing that will only increase in the coming days. Southwest Airlines (and American Airlines) passengers should expect disruptions in flight operations leading up to and after the November 24th vaccine deadline. It's only going to get worse.