Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Flags and Protest

A few quick thoughts. I ran across the protocol for the National Anthem in the US legal code.  I have to admit I’m slightly disturbed that this is codified in law, but I guess it’s not too bad. There are no penalties and the law says “should” for all parties, including US military.

Someone asked what I thought about people standing, or not, as the case may be in the recent athlete protests. I wrote this:

“I think plenty of people upset about those that don't stand read the code as "all other persons present must face the flag and stand at attention..."
I have pride in my country, and our anthem. It bothers me when people don't remove hats or stand quietly. Most of that is just laziness and a lack of respect. I should write this more, but I agree with what the various sports people (and others) are doing. They aren't dis-respecting things, but rather making a conscious, respectful (IMHO), protest for injustices they see in our country.
The content and origin of the song does bother me. I would be happy to change our anthem to something that isn't based on war. We have far, far too much of that.”

I’ll add this as well.

I used to make my kids stand , remove hats, put their hands on their hearts. As they got older, I let them decide. The decision to be a patriot or support the government is their own. The decision to respect this country, and it’s anthem, is up to them. Part of the land of the free is that people are free to disagree. They are free to protest. They are free to disrespect the flag.

People are also free to be upset with those that do.

That’s what freedom is.

Anyone may view this as they choose. I stand with the athletes and their protest against what they perceive as injustices against minorities, blacks, the poor, whoever. For those that don’t agree or think these are spoiled athletes, many of them are putting their money and time into supporting causes. Mr. Kaepernick has pledged to donate $5mm this year.

I don’t think these protests are disrespectful. I think they embody the spirit of change and revolution that founded this country, the decision to act when confronted with those issues seen as fundamentally unfair.

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