Kneeling during the Anthem

Kneeling during the Anthem

Sam Cromer, Staff Writter

A new trend throughout the United States is kneeling or sitting during the US anthem or flag pledge. The trend was most famously started by National Football League players.  At National Football games, when the  Anthem is played, some players take a knee to bring attention to police brutality.

The protest of the anthem began growing in popularity in 2016, gaining national attention in early 2017. Most National Football League players agree with bringing attention to police brutality but only some kneel during the National Anthem. There are also some which show even more pride. Alejandro Villanueva is an NFL player and US Army Veteran who is notable for standing alone, pledging to the flag outside of his team’s locker room. Player’s and many Americans, like Alejandro, find the kneeling and sitting disrespectful. “I think it’s disrespectful to kneel,” said Chapin sophomore, Corey Brown.

The irony of this situation is presented in the United States Flag Code. The US Flag Code is a government regulation for how to respect and present the US flag. The code states that whenever the flag is presented individuals must stand straight, removing non-religious headgear, and put right hand over heart if in civilian wear. If you were an active service member in military uniform the flag code says to follow military courtesy. But what the flag code also says is that there is no punishment for not rendering respect to the flag. This allows members of private corporations such as the NFL,  protected by law, to kneel.

Whether it seems frustrating or disrespectful, kneeling during the anthem or sitting for the pledge is a First Amendment right and should be treated as such.