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Today, via Twitter, from Jason Kander (D):

Jason Kander‏ @JasonKander
Patriotism isn’t about making everyone stand and salute the flag.

Patriotism is about making this a country where everyone wants to.
10:51 AM – 24 Sep 2017

This was all settled in 1943:


If you don’t like something that someone else says or does as a First Amendment expression of dissent, fine. Use the First Amendment to the best of your ability to disagree.

However, no official, high or petty (in Donald Trump’s case – petty), nor the government has a say in approving or disapproving the content of your First Amendment expression, including your choice to participate in or not participate in “patriotic” doctrine.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a socialist minister, in the late 19th century for a children’s magazine with the intent that it was to be used by children in ceremonies celebrating the Columbian Exposition. The original text: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Subsequent additions were made by others in the 1920s during the red scare (so immigrant children would know which flag they were saluting?) and during the Eisenhower Administration (because of fears of godless communism).

The U.S. Flag Code people keep citing as a point of law? It has the same force as Congressional resolutions commemorating motherhood, apple pie, and National Groundhog Day. By the way, that same flag code states that the image of the flag not be used as clothing or on disposable paper products (like napkins and plates) or on advertising. Good luck with that one, huh.

The Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court have long ago decided the primacy of the First Amendment.

So, why have the national anthem sung or performed at sporting events? As if there’s originalist intent expressed in the Constitution? Join in or not, it’s up to you. No one else.

So, today, if you so choose, exercise the First Amendment and take a knee to stick it to that ignorant petty tyrant occupying the White House.