Flag gives protesters a voice for the voiceless

One flag, 50 stars, 13 stripes, and every right to be protested by every single American. Seeing what this flag represents is the fundamental right to free speech.

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” reads our very own First Amendment.

Every man, woman, and child in this nation has the right to peacefully protest what they view as needing to be changed. That is exactly what is taking place in the NFL right now. These athletes are simply using their platform, which has a lot of attention, to protest injustices against minorities all around the county. Did I mention that what was being protested in the beginning barely gets talked about?

It seems people are more focused on the narrative that these are un-American communists who should leave the county for even daring to say it has problems. How dare these communists disrespect our flag by not standing for it? They have it good enough in this country already. What problems could they possibly have?

There’s a deep misunderstanding of why people are protesting if you think they are protesting the flag or what it stands for. Protests began to bring attention to police brutality against minorities and the overall treatment of minorities in this country. Yet the narrative continues to be painfully dragged back to the same point that they are disrespecting this flag and showing a huge amount of disrespect to our armed forces. This is utterly annoying.

People who march in our cities aren’t protesting the ground on which they walk on. People who kneel for the national anthem are not protesting nor disrespecting our country or our veterans. People who kneel are courageous patriots who, despite blatant disregard for the First Amendment from our Commander in Chief and his followers, continue to kneel for the fair treatment of every person in this country. They, unlike others, have the courage to stand for those who can’t and the patriotism to try and make this country better for everyone, not just those who sit at the top denying problems exist.

To those who fight for their God-given rights under our constitution, I salute you and your bravery. To those who were sworn into office to protect every American citizen regardless of race, religion, heritage, nationality or anything else: do your job. Stop calling for the firing of American citizens who express their First Amendment right and start working towards a country where every citizen can go to bed feeling the same amount of safety. Finally, to those who completely and totally disagree with me, please try to see the other side’s viewpoint and try to understand why people are kneeling for the anthem. It’s a way to move towards understanding and finding common ground.

Whether you agree with the form of protest or not despite your beliefs, maybe we, as American citizens, as American patriots, can work to make our country better for everyone.

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Dalton is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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