Schupbach: Stop disrespecting our flag


Columnist Trystian Schupbach deems what is disrespectful toward the flag and national anthem. 

Trystian Schupbach

There has been much uproar throughout the past few months with regard to human rights. Some level of uproar is OK and even beneficial for the cause in question. However, when the protests begin to do things that disrespect other people, or even our country, it stops being a protest. I firmly believe in our constitutional rights to peacefully protest but I do not agree with disrespecting people, property or our great country. 

Sporting teams, like all Americans, are allowed to have an opinion. They should also be allowed to state their opinion peacefully. However, they are not and should not be allowed to disrespect our national anthem. According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, the national anthem should be conducted in this manner:

Conduct during playing — during a rendition of the national anthem

  1. When the flag is displayed

    1. Individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;

    2. Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and

    3. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and

  2. When the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.  

As stated on Cornell’s website the above was taken from 36 U.S. Code 301. National anthem. It seems crystal clear to me that kneeling during the anthem is something strictly not allowed by simply reading number 1, part 3 of the above excerpt. It is not only disrespectful to our flag and nation but also to those who have fought and died for it.  

There are an infinity of other ways the players could have their voices heard. It is unnecessary and disrespectful to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. The above part of the U.S. Code is not necessarily law, so standing is not required, but it tells us as citizens what SHOULD be done

It is still disrespectful and maybe even unpatriotic, so therefore I feel our national league players should find another way to peacefully protest things they feel to be unjust. Unfortunately, until they stop the disrespect in this manner, I and many others will not be able to take them seriously.