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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Comment on the Big Protest

     If one is not familiar with what seems to be dominating the news in the U.S., it's professional football players creating a big controversy by kneeling in protest during the playing of the national anthem before the start of the games. And now basketball and baseball players are supporting them. Of course President Trump is speaking out against them and his sometimes bombastic and crude comments have created a controversy in itself. Exactly what the athletes are protesting seems to have gotten lost in the kerfuffle.
    I don't care about the opinions of pro athletes, most of whom sound uneducated and ignorant when they try to communicate and who I view as nothing more than highly paid players of games that entertain. But then I am not a sports fan.
   What I find amusing is all the fans who lambaste the players for disrespecting the national anthem and the flag. Just watch the fans when the anthem is being played. You will see the majority of them eating, drinking beer, talking and texting while it's being played. Is not that just as disrespectful as the players kneeling? Also, and here's my point, those fans are as guilty as the players because U.S. Code, Title 36, Subtitle I, Part A, Chapter 3, 301 defines conduct during the playing of the national anthem.
     The code declares the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem and that during its rendition:

1) when the flag is displayed

     A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note
     B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform
     C) 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.

     By the way, I learned something from this...as a veteran it would be proper for me to render a military salute. I did not know that was acceptable.

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