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Friday, September 2, 2016

It's All About Respect

The football player, not standing or the Olympic athlete not putting her hand to her heart during the playing of the National Anthem is a topic of discussion for several reasons.

1) People judge other people by their own standards.

2) People are raised in different environments with different moral codes and different standards of conduct.

3) The Flag is a symbol. The Anthem is a symbol. Not everyone views either as sacred. Not every American feels patriotism is measurable and certainly not by your conduct around these two symbols. Some feel your conduct is paramount. Most feel it strongly on either side.

Thinking it all comes down to respect. More than freedom, more than propriety, even more than tradition, respect.

Don't you notice in our country that respect is evaporating? Once respect was given to all until or unless they caused it to be withdrawn. 

It was taught to us as children that respect was given to elders, people in authority and all uniformed personnel. It included police, teachers, ministers of all faiths, neighbors, parents, family, veterans, active service personnel and pretty much to everyone who had not dishonored that respect. Do you remember those days? Those talks from your parents or grandparents? Do you remember being told to address people as Mr., Mrs, Miss or ma'am or sir?

Do you remember, "Do unto others...?"
Were you taught, "Please, thank you and may I?"
How about, "Excuse me?"
Did you ever hear, "Do not interrupt, wait until ___ is done talking, please?"

Simple manners. Simple respect.

Now all I hear is that respect is earned! It's not a gift given freely. It's what you receive when you give it. 

Really?  Because if I can only give it to those from whom I have received it, how does it start?

The Flag has a code. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do.
You can find it here:

It states among it's list that one's hand should cover one's heart during the raising or lowering of the flag. This is what was happening at the Olympics as the Anthem was being played and the hand over the heart is appropriate. Many people don't know this. They should.

Second on my subject list is the standing for the National Anthem.
No question in my mind here. It is to be done, if physically possible. Not only standing, but standing straight and tall and respectfully, with your hand over your heart. 

That one is my opinion. 

Here is the code:

Okay so those are the codes. These codes are meant to unify our actions and create respectful conduct towards our country and all the freedoms we enjoy. The freedoms, which are not and never have been free. They are freedoms that many have fought to preserve and many have died to protect. Our codes simply give us a way to share respect for that.

Now...why all the outrage when someone doesn't follow a code in a public forum? Because they are, in some way, representing the very country they are disrespecting. 

Yes, failure to know and follow the codes is disrespectful. It shows a lack of understanding about the country in which we thrive, or struggle. We get it very wrong sometimes and we get it very right sometimes. We are a work in progress and we will progress, these United States.

You want to protest? That's great, but find another way. Sitting through the anthem or not placing your hand over your heart is only making you look disrespectful. It's not helping your cause. Better yet, get off your ass and DO something to affect change.

And to those who think these symbols are just symbols and not deserving of a salute or any special treatment, I say research the National Anthem. Find out where the words Francis Scott Key wrote came from. 

You can find this here:

The symbol is the flag and the anthem is the flag's symbol. That flag IS much more than a hunk of cloth clipped to a pole. It is American pride and American respect.

I pray that one day soon we will all wake up and realize that respect is only to be given without conditions. It is to be withdrawn when one presents themselves are undeserving by actions and words of hate and evil.

It'a a hallmark of humanity to respect each other and our countries. It does make a difference. Hearing people say that they don't pledge allegiance to anything is disheartening to an old woman like me. This country has been kind to me. I have no other country to run to if this one throws me out, yet, I have no desire to find one. I am home. I am a proud American and that flag will always command my respect and my allegiance.

and this...

Ready to hear your take on this very hot topic...ready?




  1. I agree completely. That player was given the opportunity to make millions every year because of his ability and the freedoms afforded him. There are other ways to protest and I suggest he find one.


    1. He has donated a million dollars, but no thought of maybe actually starting a youth program for an underprivileged neighborhood!

  2. Love you, could not disagree more.

    I "give" a modicum of respect to everyone I meet. But as time goes on, either they will have earned more, or squandered what they started with. Our country, I love it dearly, but I don't think everything we have ever done as a country, or are doing now, is above serious criticism. There ARE things that need fixing. There are things that are shameful, among them the way people of color receive a different kind of justice than white people, the number of children in poverty, the way that our vets are literally dying because of inadequate mental health care...

    This young man chose an action that was non-violent and peaceful to command national attention and open a discussion. Many, many veterans support his actions, saying they risked their lives for his right to stand - or sit. The flag is a symbol, the anthem is a symbol, but they are not sacred or holy, though they have always been super-important to ME. (Also, as I am learning about the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner that we never sing, celebrating the death of slaves, I now feel a bit sick about it.)

    1. Thank you for sharing your point of view so respectfully. I appreciate and also return the respect. One of the best things we have is exactly this right. We even have a right to be completely disrespectful. It's not punishable by law, but it will often bring repercussions from our fellow citizens. It's part of the freedom gig.
      And I agree we have a lot of issues to get busy fixing. No question there.

  3. I'm old school. I absolutely disagree with him sitting during our national anthem and yet, thanks to this great nation in which I live, I support his right and anyone else's right to not stand. I find it disrespectful to the whole of our country and hello? He's doing pretty good for being in this unfair, racist country. Professionally, his "statement" is surely costing him. There's a time and place for this kind of display. Sporting events, the Oscars, Grammys, none of those forums are acceptable. I end up turning the channel if someone gets up in the middle of an award show with some kind of political rant. Same with any other show I'm watching. I get irritated with that crap and no matter what they have to say I'm not going to listen because they started yacking at an inappropriate time on an inappropriate show.

    1. I agree, Karen. Respect also means being appropriate.

  4. Like Beverly, I disagree completely. Also like her, I start out respecting everyone, but maintaining my respect is not a given.

    I have a meme on my wall that highlights a tweet (by someone I don't know). It says:

    White people: "Black people should protest peacefully!"
    *Black person sits quietly during the national anthem*
    White person: "No, not like that."

    That tweet spoke to me. Taking a stand in a non-violent way isn't the easiest thing to do. To bring attention to an issue, one must do something that makes a statement and gets attention. I think sitting out is a good way to express the sentiment and draw attention to needed change while remaining completely non-violent.


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