Now: The Flag, Next: Who Knows?

By Angela Reyzelman, Sophomore Editor

The term “citizen”originates from the term “inhabitant of a city” As in, we are all citizens of the United States of America. The United States flag is a symbol of purity, valour, and justice. It represents American sacrifice, the soldiers who have fought for our freedom, and ultimately unites all American people as citizens under one object. People honor the flag to show citizenship, unity, and to be united as citizens regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or beliefs. By showing any disrespect at all to this, one is implying that they are not proud of their American national identity. Thus, it is completely unacceptable for American citizens, especially those so widely known and displayed over television such as national football players, to take a knee and blatantly showcase disrespect during the National Anthem.

Starting at a young age, schools teach children to stand up when reciting the pledge of allegiance. When a priest walks into the room at a church, you stand. When a judge walks into the courtroom, you stand. Standing is a sign of respect. So, why wouldn’t one stand during the national anthem – a time of honor towards the American flag and those who fought for it? Emma Hogan, sophomore student at Wayne Hills and daughter of a retired U.S. Army member, strongly supports the argument at hand. Ms. Hogan is reported stating, “As a military brat, I know that the U.S. flag is  representative of the soldiers that fought for it and continue to fight for it everyday, people like my father. When someone doesn’t stand during the national anthem, I feel personally offended by their outright disrespect. If they don’t want to stand and respect our country, then they don’t have to be a part of it.” Emma is absolutely correct.

There is a time and place for everything. Would one protest women’s rights during a funeral? Would one stand up for animal rights during a church seminar? There is a time to protest black rights, as well as human rights, women’s rights, and animals rights. The approximate one-minute period that it takes to stand up and sing the national anthem is not the time for football players, nor anyone, to take a knee and protest black-rights.

As a society, if we start disrespecting the flag, where will we end up next? Why should football players have the sole right to compromise respect and honor and disrespect the most important symbol of American unity? They shouldn’t. No one should. The American flag and national anthem represent unity. Under the flag and national anthem of the United States of America, citizenship comes first and everything else – race, religion, ethnicity, etc. – comes second.