This will appear in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana the week of 9/11/2016.

Recently we have seen protests against supposed grievance acts of oppression against some type or types of minorities in the United States.  While everyone has a right to protest in a manner that is not violent or violates another man’s rights the act of being disrespectful to our American flag or the playing of our national anthem I find revolting and sickening.  A lot of good men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice to allow the ability to disrespect the symbols of this great nation by pampered athletes who are sinfully compensated for their physical abilities.

Commentators have brushed off the protests by claiming that if people understood what was being said and understood the motives then it would be realized what the protesters are saying.  What is being said is not the issue.  The protestors have deflected their message by being so disrespectful that the message is totally lost.  There are many ways to deliver a protest so why perform in this manner.

Many conservatives have equated the protests that involve disrespecting the American Flag and the National Anthem as a slap in the face of veterans who wore the uniform in defense of our great nation.  This is right but only a part of the story, a small part of the contempt.

The American flag was first introduced in 1777 at the battle of Fort Stanwix during the war for American Independence.  There was no official flag following the first Continental Convention.  Following the second convention it was agreed as to what the flag would look like.  It was an emotional moment for our fledgling nation and the adoption of a national flag helped to solidify America’s commitment to becoming a free and independent nation.  This instilled pride in all Americans and the first flag was the product of a merger of military and civilian pride.

This first American flag was intended to be an ensign for the American Navy; however, reinforcements for Fort Stanwix brought word of the adoption of the flag to the Massachusetts garrison and patriotic fervor overtook the men and women fighting the British.  Soldiers cut up their shirts to make the white stripes and wives of the officers cut up their red petticoats to form the red stripes.  Capt. Abraham Swartwout’s blue cloth coat was cut to form the blue field of the flag.  A symbol forged in battle from the clothing of American Patriots to symbolize pride, courage and the spirit of a new country.

The American National Anthem , The Star Spangled Banner, came later than the flag.  It was born during the War of 1812 when an American Lawyer, Francis Scott Key, was being held hostage on a British War Ship that was shelling Fort McHerny.  When the sun came up Key was taken with emotion at seeing the large American Flag flying from the walls of the fort and thus showing it had not surrendered.  He then wrote the poem that would become the words for the Star Spangled Banner. Ironically, the poem was put to the music of a popular British tune of the time.  In 1889 the United States Navy officially adopted the Star Spangled Banner but it was not until 1931 that the song known as the Star Spangled Banner was officially signed by President Woodrow Wilson to become the National Anthem of the United States.

Disrespect of the American Flag and the Star Spangled Banner is not only a slight to the American Military, it is a slight to every freedom loving American.

Last Sunday we observed the 15th anniversary of the attack on America by Islamic Terrorist, 9/11.  The most iconic scene that showed the resolve of the American people’s will to survive was three firefighters raising the American flag over the rubble at the World Trade Center.  This looked reminiscent of the Marines and a Sailor raising the American Flag on Mt Suribachi  during World War II.

The flag at ground zero was lost for several years.  When discovered, it was placed under tight security since the symbol of America was such a prized target for terrorist that it was imperative that it be protected.  It is now on display at the ground zero museum in New York.

Protesters, please select another icon to pick on.


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