NFL Anthem Controversy

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Whether you are a football fan or not I'm sure you've heard at nauseam the continued rhetoric  regarding the NFL players standing vs. kneeling during the National Anthem. The picture shown above is actually against the proper procedure for carrying the American Flag. See below. You can read about all of the policies here.

Carrying an American Flag is a great way to pay tribute to flag and to the United States, but carrying it improperly can be disrespectful. The Flag Code specifies the rules and regulations of handling and displaying the flag in an appropriate manner.
Proper Procedure

Unless the flag is folded, it should be carried on a handheld staff, so it can fly freely. It should never be carried flat, horizontally or vertically.
The only time a flag can be carried flat is when it is draped over a casket at a funeral.
You can tilt the staff forward, allowing the flag to fly in front of you or you can rest the staff on your right shoulder allowing the flag to fly behind you.
If you tilt the staff forward, you should hold the base of the staff in your left hand at your waist. Place your right hand about two feet up the staff. You can also purchase a flag holder which ties around the waist and holds the base of the staff.
Do not hold the flag at an angle where it falls over the staff.
Never allow the flag to touch the ground or any object below it.

The first problem is the carrying of our flag horizontally across a football field before the game or during half-time. According to our U.S. Flag Code the flag is to fly free vertically.

Secondly, the evangelical conservatives who abhorred President Obama are the ones making the biggest noise regarding the NFL players not standing on the field. Here's the ironic thing. Prior to 2009 NONE, you read that right, NONE of our NFL players stood on the field during the National Anthem. After President Obama's election in 2008, and the beginning of the 2009 football season the Department of Defense began paying the players to stand in an effort to show patriotism and increase enlistment. You can read more about it here.

Here's the ironic thing. Since President Trump's election and his constant drivel about the players sitting, kneeling, and now being able to stay in the locker-room, along with the Philadelphia Eagles not coming to his party, no one is pointing out that this policy started under President Obama, the abhorred president, and yet the evangelical conservatives along with President Trump are holding onto this policy with white-knuckles.  Why? Their constant argument is that it is disrespectful to the military. Really now? I am a Navy brat and former Navy wife who lived on base and had to stop driving when the anthem played, stop walking if I was outside. Even if I was just outside of my house I had to stand and face the music, and I don't find not standing disrespectful at all. And once my retired father who served 32 years found out about the players being paid he doesn't see it as disrespectful either. I signed up to be a Navy wife so I knew that came with the territory, and so does every military personnel. Until all the rhetoric regarding the anthem controversy it was highly suggested by the NFL to stand but it was not a requirement like in the NBA, MLB, and the NHL.

In 2016 Nate Boyer a former Army Green Beret had a conversation with Colin Kaepernick regarding the sitting, standing, and kneeling during the anthem. In 2017 Mr. Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick, President Trump, the NFL, and America. In the letter you will see Mr. Boyer's heart and desire for all sides to come together. You can read it here.

While researching for this post I found something quite interesting that I knew nothing about. Did you know that there was a third verse to the National Anthem? Here's an article discussing how Colin Kaepernick got it right when he chose to sit during the anthem. And here is all of the verses to our national anthem. We only sing verse one, but take a good long look at verse three.

The Star-Spangled Banner
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This entire issue is a huge hot topic for me because I saw racist hate up close and personal when I lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Besides that, conservatives all over our country called President Obama a dictator. I didn't like him, but I didn't call him that. And now with President Trumps "order" for our players to stand or be fired, that seems more like a dictator than anything President Obama said in eight years. I think everyone should stand for our anthem. However, I do not think they should be paid to stand, nor forced, by either intimidation or the like. I also wish before people on either side of the issue said anything they did a little research to understand all sides. There is always more to the story, and in this case quite a bit that isn't being reported. If I could find the information anyone can. It just takes time and desire to look at facts instead of feelings and opinions.

I want to know your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. I will delete all messages that don't fall into those categories.


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