LETTER TO THE EDITOR: History is against those who disrespect the flag

The Progressive Marxist left is expert in changing the meaning of words and actions to suit its agenda. These folks are also adept in labeling what is evil, good and what is good, evil.

A prime example of this is abortion on demand. However, today I want to address the “taking of a knee.”

When and how did “taking a knee” come to mean a protest? And what, in plain English, does “taking a knee” mean?

Seems to me I remember a famous painting of Gen. George Washington on one knee. He is praying to the Almighty for deliverance at Valley Forge. In historical times, and even today, men selected for knighthood kneel on one knee before the Monarch as a sign of respect and fealty.

There is a statue of Columbus kneeling on one knee before Queen Isabella of Spain before departure on his voyage.

Kneeling has been a sign of respect and honor for centuries. Who proclaimed this gesture as one of rebellion and revolt?

For football player Colin Kaepernick to use this during the playing of the national anthem as a protest against police defies reason. Make no mistake, the players who engage in this behavior are disrespecting the United States and all its people.

When I entered first grade in the late 1930s we were taught the meaning of the flag and all three (sometimes four) verses of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

All flags are symbolic standards. The colors, symbols and designs on every flag have meaning. Flags have been carried since time immemorial to identify people, tribes, nations, states, groups. Everything on our Delaware state flag has meaning.

Likewise everything on the U.S. flag has meaning. Each one of the 50 stars represents a state in the blue field of the firmament. There are 13 stripes, one for each of the original colonies. The red symbolizes the blood shed to establish and maintain the Union. The white represents (a goal of) purity.

Disrespect toward that flag is disrespect toward every citizen in every state. It has nothing whatsoever to do with police, racism or any other complaint.

Our national anthem was written by Francis Scott Key following the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. (Are today’s students taught about the War of 1812, when the British burned down Washington, D.C.?) The shelling was severe and continued through the night.

In the morning, the fort was still held by the newly formed nation and its flag, tattered and torn, was still there. Thus the first two verses of the anthem. My favorite verse, however, is the third. We had to memorize all verses in elementary school. Disrespecting this anthem also rejects the words of all the verses in the anthem.

The third verse goes like this:

Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and wild war’s desolation

Blessed with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: In God is our trust !

And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

NFL players are, in my opinion, overpaid and undereducated. Mr. Kaepernick, who openly praises Castro’s Cuba and Venezuela, had an opportunity through the NFL to achieve great wealth and fame available to only a few.

To disrespect the country that made this possible is despicable. These players are being used as pawns in a bigger game. These young men have had very little world experience. In order to achieve the athleticism necessary to be drafted i n the NFL their focus, from childhood has been on football to the exclusion of anything else.

Nations are populated by human beings who are all fallible and subject to error. No nation has a perfect record, and many times people, irrespective of race or religion, are treated unfairly. It has always been and will always be, as long as humans rule.

But, one of the most deplorable actions was the ugly display in Great Britain when players “took a knee” during the U.S. anthem and stood for the British anthem. Do these players not know that African captives were brought to America on English and Dutch ships?

The slave trade was extremely lucrative for warring African tribes, the Muslims of North Africa and the British, Dutch and Portuguese who brought captive Africans to the Americas (not only to the U.S.) and returned with rum and sugar.

Do these players know that in 1773 Pennsylvania passed a law to help bring slavery to an end? Other colonies made similar at tempts but King George III vetoed all American anti slavery laws. Thus the slave trade continued until the colonies became a nation.

Are these men aware that the original draft of the Declaration of Independence listed slavery as one of the grievances against Great Britain?

While I do not hold the British or any other nation or group responsible for our current racial animus, it is only proper that American players stand respectfully for the British anthem and they most certainly should do so for our own.

Marjorie C. Davis

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