People who are outraged by the NFL protests should read the U.S. Flag Code. I imagine many of these people wear shirts or coats depicting the flag, imagining they are being patriotic. They may also be displaying a flag in the rain when not an all-weather flag, displaying a flag at night without illumination, displaying a torn or faded flag, using napkins or towels with the flag on them, or misusing the flag or an image of the flag inappropriately. All of these actions, among others, are forbidden in the flag code.
The NFL players are peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to protest. In fact, in 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that even burning a flag is not prohibited and is a First Amendment right.
Those “patriotic” Americans should first look at their own actions, and then really listen to what the players are protesting, before pointing fingers and making snap decisions. The First Amendment applies to all situations, whether or not one agrees with the speech or action. Let’s move on to things that are more important, like Russia influencing our elections. That’s something on which we should focus our attention, and that is a greater threat.
Marian Herz, Boise
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman