‘Proud to Be an American’: Buzz Aldrin Tweets American Flag Moon Landing Amid ‘First Man’ Backlash

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/Nasa via AP

Legendary astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on Sunday evening tweeted photos of Apollo 11’s historic moon landing amid outrage over First Man director Damien Chazelle’s decision to exclude the American flag from being planted on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin tweeted two photos of the 1969 mission prominently featuring the American flag, with various hashtags, including “#proudtobeanAmerican,” and “onenation.”

On Saturday, the Aldrin tweeted four photos of himself donning a t-shirt, which reads “Buzz Aldrin, Future Martian,” with an astronaut planting the American flag into a planet.

In addition, the iconic astronaut retweeted user @pir8lksat40’s photo of him saluting with a photo of the moon landing behind him. 

Aldrin also retweeted a photo of himself saluting while standing next to an enlarged photo from the Apollo 11 mission that includes the flag on the moon.

Last week, Chazelle dismissed criticism that the omission of the American flag was meant to be a political statement. “To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no,” the First Man director said in an interview with Variety. “My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon–particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.”

Mark and Rick Armstrong, the sons of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, criticized those who branded the biopic “anti-America.”

‘This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement ‘for all mankind,’” a statement by the Armstrongs read. “[T]he filmmakers chose to focus on Neil looking back at the earth, his walk to Little West Crater, his unique, personal experience of completing this journey, a journey that has seen so many incredible highs and devastating lows.”

In an interview with The Telegraph, First Man star Ryan Gosling said the decision to exclude the planting of the American Flag was driven by the notion that the moon landing was regarded as a “human achievement,” rather than an American one.

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” the actor, who plays Armstrong, told the British newspaper. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible,” the actor told the British newspaper.

Sen. Marco Rubio (F-FL) took to Twitter to blast the American flag’s omission as “total lunacy,” and a “disservice,” to the American people. “This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together,” Rubio wrote. “The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission.”

First Man is scheduled to hit theaters on October 12, 2018.

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