The National Anthem. If performed correctly, one minute and twenty-seven seconds of star-spangled ness, designed to stir the emotions in the heart of every red-blooded American. In the military, it was customary to play the Star-
In the army, it is customary to play the Star-Spangled Banner at sunrise each morning.
On television, it used to be the way a station signed off at night, before going to a test pattern in the wee hours of the morning.
Finally, in the stands of countless ballgames, it was a time for most Americans to COMPLETELY IGNORE the thing while they sat, chatting with their neighbors, drinking a beer, taking selfies, texting, doing anything but standing and saluting the flag…
Yet when Colin Kaepernick did something different during the National Anthem and explained the reasons why, this same huddled mass who regularly ignored the Anthem rose up and said: “How dare you!” The gentleman has even been frozen out of a job this season.
Guess what, America? How dare you. How dare you claim insult for someone exercising peaceful, non-violent non-hateful free speech. How dare you up the ante when more do so. How dare you let the President lead you into believing that the jingoistic idea that patriotism outstrips the ideals ensconced in the Constitution itself.
I raised my hand in 1986 to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. Last time I checked, that included the first Amendment, Up until now, this proud disabled vet has put a hand over his heart during the National Anthem. Thanks to you, Mr. President, and those like-minded among the populace, the next time I hear it, I’m #TakingTheKnee.