I’m not writing this to weigh in on either side of the discussion about how best to recognize and honor our American flag. Because of my newspaper background, I’ve always believed in the constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
If I were to say anything on the subject, it wouldn’t be about football players or any sports figures and how they use it to their advantage, or disadvantage. It would not be about whether kneeling or fist-bumping is okay or not. That topic has been beaten to death and deserves no further comment.
What I would like to comment on is how the flag makes me feel personally.
The American flag is a symbol to me of the struggles our great country and its individual members have managed to overcome. We continue that fight every day. The flag acts as a reminder of that fight.
But when we talk about the fight, the flag should not be a symbol of the bitter divisiveness between political ideologies. It is not a symbol of the ugly words used between our own people, simply because they sometimes disagree with each other.
I’ve wanted to write this for awhile, because each time I attend an event where the flag is recognized, I do stand with my hand over my heart. I stand with awe as members of our military bring the flag forward. I feel the tingle of goosebumps flow through my body, and I am proud to remain standing until those soldiers and the flag they also honor have moved on. And I feel an even stronger emotional connection at some events, many at Holt Arena on the Idaho State University campus, when the huge American flag is unfurled and our National Anthem is presented.
People do have the right to express themselves freely. But if they felt the way I do about our flag and our country, their protests centered on how they respect or disrespect the flag would be hard to swallow.
God Bless America!
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