COMMENTARY: WHY OUR NATION’S SYMBOLS MUST REMAIN INVIOLABLE TO PROTESTS.
By: Charles G. Slepian
The American flag and I have a personal relationship, the flag is a symbol of that which I believe to be the values and traditions of faith, honor and liberty which Americans have toiled to achieve even when we have fallen short of the mark, since the inception of the United States. I have come to learn however that my interpretation of what the American flag symbolizes can be expressed differently by others who in the extreme may believe that it symbolizes oppression, injustice and disloyalty to the concepts of liberty and justice for all.
We are well reminded however that the nation’s flag after all is a symbol of a great nation so grand it is capable of stirring the emotions of all of us regardless of race, religion or creed and transcends mere symbolism when the flag and it accompanying anthem are publicly displayed before the people. Under such circumstance, when the general public is assembled with the intent of honoring the broad principles and beliefs that bring some men and women in attendance to tears, and others who are carrying the scars of war are brought to statue like attention, in respect for the moment the flag must remain inviolable to protest.
To the majority of Americans, when the flag and anthem are presented at a public event with the intent of honoring America, turning your back or kneeling on a knee to publicly express a personal grievance is to me nothing less than an insult to the nation which among its liberties is the very right that the protestor is abusing. The First Amendment upon which protestors at public events increasingly rely to convey their contempt for the flag- I believe is having the opposite effect. It is uniting Americans across the nation in taking personal action in support of America and its principles of respect for our ideologies and traditions of honor and love of country; we are turning our backs on organizations that sell tickets to watch our fellow citizens shame our nation.
After Thanksgiving dinner this year, let’s agree to salute the United States; let’s sing God Bless America and turn off any football game in which a team allows players to take a knee when the colors are presented and our anthem played; it’s the least we can do in memory our troops who wont be coming home for Thanksgiving this year.