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Taking a Knee - Patriotic Black Eye - Tradition and Influences

Updated on December 5, 2019

The American Flag

Symbol of Freedom
Symbol of Freedom | Source

Patriotic Confusion!

I find it most disturbing to know and try to understand why my patriotic beliefs or basic patriotism for this country is challenged on a daily basis by the media, and most recently by the actions of professional athletes during the playing of our national anthem at the beginning of a NFL game as they "take a knee".

When I turn on my television to watch a few hours of what should be a good football game and see players (not all - just a few) “taking a knee“ while we take a few minutes to acknowledge two symbols that represent why we are a free people (That is our American Flag and the playing of The Star Spangled Banner), I get a very disgusting feeling inside. It ruined what could have been a good afternoon of entertainment for me and probably millions of other Patriotic Americans. I can’t believe that we let this behavior happen week after week. And the media eats it up and spits it out in their own way to take up one side or the other.

Now I’m a bit confused! Are these “professionals” protesting about our flag? Or, are they protesting the national anthem? I get it! But taking a shot at our flag? That is wrong on so many levels. In my opinion, this gives our country a Patriotic Black Eye!

I choose not to watch these games any more until maybe the time comes when the idiotic tantrums by these players is resolved. And I am quite sure that I'm not the only one with this opinion nationwide. This is not the venue to voice your protest what ever it is. There are certainly other ways to get your point across without using the media nationwide and in front of thousands of spectators in the stands young and old alike. What's the next step! Taking a knee at the Olympics?

I am sure that after NFL or NBA revenues drop and people stop going to these games or watching on television this behavior will change rapidly. I don’t know, maybe I’m way off on this, and if I am, enlighten me! I find the American Flag a symbol that you do not disrespect.

Another observation of this blatant stupidity is the fact that other countries around the world are laughing at us! People from all over the world who look up to the United States of America look at us sideway, like that curious canine tilting his head trying to understand something we just said.

Maybe the solution is to leave these professional prima donnas in the locker room until after the playing of the national anthem. Then they can walk out onto the field arm in arm with a protest sign.

The American Flag and National Anthem
This country has several traditional ways to acknowledge the flag and what it stands for:

  • 4th of July
  • Memorial Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Presidents' Day
  • The passing of a Great American (flag at half mast)
  • Flag Day

We post our American Flag (Stars and Stripes, Old Glory) at all city, state, federal buildings to name a few.
The Star-Spangled Banner - known as our national anthem is performed at all sporting events, concerts, and special presentations. Why? Certainly not because it’s a catchy tune. But it reinforces our patriotism. It’s a reminder of who we are as a nation.
Many Americans choose to display the American flag outside their home residence showing their individual patriotism. So, when someone takes a knee during the playing of the national anthem, you might as well put the flag underneath that knee because you’re only stomping on it. Here’s a good question!
How many people in America don’t even know what our national march is?
“The Stars and Stripes Forever” - written by John Philip Sousa

Tradition and Influences

When I was growing up my parents taught me right from wrong. They taught me the difference between making good decisions and making poor ones. My dad fought in World War II as a Marine and I remember the stories that he used to tell us about being over in another country fighting and what he was fighting for. One of the things he said to us was that “I fought in World War II so that you kids wouldn’t have to later”. That was an amazing statement by my dad.

I also remember him teaching us about the flag and about the national anthem. He didn’t have to say much because I got it. Early! He was a great influence as most parents should be about the traditions set by our ancestors. Mixed in with this was the learning about respect. “Respect!” he said “Begins at home”!
I do believe that if my dad were still living today he would be appalled at a player “taking a knee” during the playing of the national anthem at a football game.

This brings me to an obvious observation. That being - Kids! What kind of impression are these athletes having on the young people that absolutely idolize their favorite players?

A Reflection!

I am including this next section as a reflection in time as an example of patriotism past. In 1974, Johnny Cash wrote an incredibly patriotic poem about our flag. This poem is one of the most moving tributes to our symbol of freedom and explains a bit of history as well. It reminds us of the past and present and does not reflect the actions that are now being exhibited by rich and unpatriotic citizens in this country. Below, I have included the lyrics to the poem by Johnny Cash and also a performance video that you might find very interesting especially if you've never heard this patriotic tribute before.

As this article is being published, the White House is in a verbal battle with the NFL. Many people are voicing their opinions on this subject and I am convinced that when it is all said and done, players are not going to be able to disrespect our Flag.

That Ragged Old Flag


That Ragged Old Flag

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin' there.
I said, "Your old court house is kinda run down,
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town".
I said, "Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that's a ragged old flag you got hangin' on it".
He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down,
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town"
I said, "I think it is"
He said "I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
and It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing "Say Can You See"
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
tugging at its seams.
and It almost fell at the Alamo
beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag

"On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they've about quit wavin' back here at home
in her own good land here She's been abused,
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin,
But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in.
Cause she's been through the fire before
and i believe she can take a whole lot more.

"So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don't let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I'm mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag"

That Ragged Old Flag

Please take poll below

Is an NFL, NBA game the correct venue to take a knee during the National Anthem?

See results

In Conclusion

Why is New Mexico in this country as well as North Dakota? It is very simple. They love this country. Have some of these protesters that have never lived outside this country, go to a country that doesn’t have the freedoms that we enjoy here and they’ll be running back saluting the flag, singing the Star-Spangled Banner and won’t put a knee down on the ground unless they are really hurt or injured. Disrespect is tragic!

© 2017 Reginald Thomas

Please let me here your comments about this issue.

    0 of 8192 characters used
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    • profile image

      Reginald Thomas 

      2 years ago

      I get what you are saying and I do listen. The main reason for me is the disrespect for the flag and national anthem and the wrong venue for the protest.

    • PantherGoody profile image

      DOUBLE R 

      2 years ago

      You are correct that it would be unpatriotic if the players were protesting because they did not like the American Flag or the National Anthem; however that is not the case. The problem with social issues are that people are afraid to talk about them. If people would listen then they wouldn't have to protest. And yes, they have a right to peacefully assemble and protest. I am a U.S, Air Force VETERAN and these are part of the freedoms that I protected. So please listen to other people before you start giving false information and getting other people upset for no reason. This is about some police officers constantly getting away with harassing, beating, and killing minorities with little to no retribution. And don't be mad because some minorities are rich. You could have practiced and played a sport. These minority players still have to deal with racism just like broke ones. Please next time listen!

    • Reginald Thomas profile imageAUTHOR

      Reginald Thomas 

      2 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you

    • AmericanBeastCo profile image

      American Beast Company 

      2 years ago from Dallas

      Thank You


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