I have chosen ‘American and Their Flag’ as my research topic. This topic was inspired by the actions of Colin Kapernick’s remaining seated for the national anthem. The topic conveys different symbols of patriotism. I researched this topic by utilizing Cornell Law School U.S. Code 301 as a resource. This code states that the law does not require anyone to stand. Upon reading the articles, it is my opinion that Colin Kapernick’s actions of kneeling during the national anthem was not inappropriate. In my viewpoint Colin Kapernick expression to the flag was not disrespectful, and I base my claim on the following articles: ‘Symbols Pledge Allegiance to Principles’ by Rashad Robinson, ‘The Emotional Attachment of National Symbols’ by Cynthia Miller-Idris, and ‘An American Value I Fought to Defend’ by Brian Adams Jones.
‘Symbols Pledge Allegiance to Principles’ by Rashad Robinson bases his article on how Kapernick views the flag as a symbol that does not represent him as an African-American. The article is referring to Kapernick standing against injustice in America for African American people. Based upon this article, Kapernick views the flag as a representation of equality among all people, which is not portrayed in society. The article’s focus has been on his actions instead of the reason behind his actions. This article brings awareness that there are a great number of people who have a lack of respect for the viewpoint of others especially if that viewpoint is different than the norm. Subsequently, with Kapernicks actions, kneeling during the national anthem there has been a lot of nationwide emotional backlash because of this.
‘The Emotional Attachment of National Symbols’ by Cynthia Miller-Idris bases her article on the belief of emotional backlash of people and the national symbols. The article indicates that the national symbols should be respected but just like anything else respect can be displayed in different ways as well as challenged. The national symbols are a representation for Americans to see one another through the same commonality. We are all Americans, therefore we all should be treated equally no matter our race or gender. Some Americans are not speaking out about the indifferences that are being faced in this nation. They are not aware of the fact that their silence will only result in the same repercussions as Kapernick. In this article Cynthia Miller- Idris indicates that the national anthem is often challenged, and that Colin Kapernick stance for not standing for the national anthem is a part of history that is repeating itself. Futhermore, Colin Kapernick was practicing one of our country’s greatest amendment, freedom of speech.
‘An American Value I Fought to Defend’ by Brian Adams Jones bases his article on his experience in the military. The article points out the views as it relates to the American symbols of an American citizen that served in the military. Mr. Jones points out that Kapernick is within his rights to voice his opinion about the American Symbol. Mr. Jones himself, questioned his values as it relates to the American symbol as an African American male and as an American that has gone to war for America. The flag itself is a symbol of freedom as a whole and should invoke Americans to respect that freedom being displayed in different ways. In addition, people should respect others and their views of the national symbols.
In conclusion, after reading these articles, true respect for the national symbols are earned based on an individual’s knowledge, experiences, and culture. Patriotism and national symbols earn respect and are respected or viewed based on that person’s understanding and views of America’s history. Americans should not assume that everyone shows respect in the same manner, nor should you ridicule others for taking a stand in what they believe in. Kapernick was not showing disrespect towards the American flag, he was just exercising his right to justify his opinion toward the flag. Because we are Americans we can practice our freedom of speech and should be allowed without penalty to display it.