Guys, the insanity on social media about the NFL players and the American flag is getting out of hand. Just look at this guy.
This man is not alone. Check out what happened when I tried to find this clip on YouTube.
Even though this man and I do not see eye to eye on this issue, I was inspired by this man’s patriotic display. At least I was until I caught on to what actually set him off.
“Instead of being a game of sport, it ended up turning into a way to state your political views… I came to watch football…but what I end up seeing and rubbed in my face, not only the players on the team, the overpaid players on the team, but the announcers in the booth. They continue to rub these protests in face of the American people.”
I’m not here to argue that this man does not hold the American flag and the brave soldiers, who have died defending it, in high regards. He obviously does. However, I wonder if the catalyst for his display is actually his patriotism or if it is his intolerance. If NFL football players were kneeling during the anthem or otherwise “disrespecting the flag,” for a different reason, I am confident that he would not be burning his Redskins gear because the NFL routinely violates the U.S. flag code and he is just now starting the fire.
Take a look at the google image results for “american flag at football game.”
How many of these pictures features flag displays that are in violation of the flag code? 12, not including the baseball field. How many do not? 4.
Displaying the flag in a way that is “flat” or not “aloft and free” (source here) doesn’t seem inherently disrespectful, especially if it is done with care to keep the flag clean, but that is not where the NFL stops “disrespecting the flag.” Look at this.
The U.S. flag code says
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
How is carrying the flag contrary to the U.S. code, attempting to utilize it for profit, or wearing it in a way that is guaranteed to make it “torn, soiled, or damaged” more respectful than kneeling, a stance that indicates humility, during the national anthem? I don’t believe it is.