This photo is actually of a recruiter holding up a flag that had been “defaced” by protesters outside the recruitment office. The photo was for a police file, but once it was made public, the symbolism it quickly made it viral. So while the actual reason for taking the photo may not have been as a statement, it became one anyway.
I have seen this same photo used several places and in many of them, a (supposed) military recruiter leaves the same basic comment about “context” in which he protests the use of this photo for anything but it’s intended purpose. Of course, he usually includes a lot of things that must be serious moral conundrums for a military recruiter to deal with every day. Ideas like “truth in advertising” and “being objective.”