This is in reference to the Letter to the Editor on Sunday Oct. 15th by David Madden titled “Where’s outrage at routine disrespect for flag.”
There is a vast difference between what you quoted as disrespect for the flag by not following flag etiquette and what is going on in the NFL. Most Americans do not know the rules for flag etiquette and that is a shame. One reason is that it is not taught anywhere. The military is probably the only place that it is even brought up while in any kind of training. Schools don’t teach it to students. They grow up never knowing that there is even such a thing because, for the most part, it never comes up in someone’s normal life.
The only thing that most Americans do remember is when you went to school you stood up at the beginning of class, put you hand on your heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance. You were showing your respect. Unless you purposely look up flag etiquette to find out about it or get told by someone about it, you go through life not knowing. To me flag etiquette should be taught to everyone at one time or another starting at a young age in school. I myself was unaware of it until a friend of mine who was in the Navy on a submarine during the 1960’s and 1970’s told me about flag etiquette.
What is the difference? The examples you gave as being disrespectful are not out of disrespect but ignorance. If someone wears a flag on their uniform for work or sports it’s because they are proud of it. If someone drapes a flag the length of a football field, as you said, it’s because they are proud of it. If someone uses it in an advertisement it is because they are proud of it. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Yes, there are some ways the flag is being used the wrong way and can be perceived as disrespectful. However that is not the intent. The intent, in all of the examples you mentioned, was not disrespect for the flag, but being proud and patriotic enough to display it regardless of the fact that flag etiquette says it is wrong.
These NFL players are choosing to disrespect the flag and the National Anthem by not standing. It is not because they don’t know flag etiquette or are just ignorant of it. They are choosing to disrespect the flag because they think they have some kind of issue or see an injustice of some kind. I wonder how many of them are just doing it because of peer pressure or just going along with it because they think it has become cool somehow? More than you think.
I can’t believe you even made such a comparison. They are light years apart. What the NFL players are doing is outright disrespect that they are choosing to do.