Sunday's Quad-City Times editorial, "Trump's Russian connections require special prosecutor" was accompanied by a Leo Kelly illustration showing a portion of the United States flag with one star replaced by a hammer and sickle - an outdated and irrelevant symbol for Russia.

The hammer and sickle is a Communist symbol, with the hammer signifying industrial workers and the sickle signifying the rural peasantry. It was closely associated with the Soviet Union, a political entity which ceased to exist in 1991.

When the Soviet Union dissolved, its constituent republics (including Russia) became 15 independent countries. Russia's economy quickly privatized. The United States' relations with Russia remain problematic (human rights, organized crime, and intervention in neighboring countries are all areas of concern), but Russia has not been a Communist country for some 25 years. Just as the swastika no longer symbolizes Germany, the hammer and sickle no longer symbolizes Russia.

Jesse Nagel

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