The furor over professional athletes believing they are standing up for justice by kneeling during the national anthem doesn’t seem to be flagging anytime soon.
I would imagine that more Americans have read the U.S. flag code in the last week or so than at any other time in the history of the Republic.
I was born on Flag Day, June 14. When I was a kid, Betsy Ross was my patron saint.
Donald Trump also was born on Flag Day. Perhaps that’s why he escalated this firestorm.
As for me, I believe that all Americans should stand respectfully facing the flag during the national anthem.
After all, our flag represents the American spirit, the indomitable demand and yearning for freedom, excellence and opportunity.
It is not the flag of a ruling regime or royal family. The American flag represents rights emanating from a higher and transcendent authority honored on our coinage.
That being said, I respect the rights of those who choose to kneel during the anthem.
There are a couple layers of irony here.
One, in no other context is kneeling considered disrespectful.
Two, the flag code states that the flag should never be carried flat or horizontally but always aloft and free.
That is violated before every NFL game when they unfurl a gigantic flag to cover the field and military personnel and/or first responders hold it horizontally.
The flag code isn’t law. You can’t go to jail for violating any of its guidelines. The First Amendment to the Constitution supersedes any flag concerns.
But why pick on our national anthem and flag as a means of protest?
You can have a noble purpose but choose the wrong way to go in pursuing your goal to correct injustice. Professional athletes and others have other forums to do so.