Right now, standing for the National Anthem or even to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” is a hot topic, especially among NFL football stars. These are people who are seen as examples or even role models for our children, my students. Knowing this is a political “Hot Topic” I am going to present information from the “Why” standpoint.
Now, legally in the state of Florida, teachers cannot require students to stand for the National Anthem or the “Pledge of Allegiance.” I have never had a problem with students not standing, but WHY do we stand for the Pledge or “Star Spangled Banner”?
Well, the flag is a symbol of our country. Each element has a specific meaning. The stars represent each state. There are 13 stripes – one for each of the original 13 colonies. Each color has a meaning too. First of all, red is for hardiness and valor. Our soldiers fought to give us our freedom and to keep us free. They are brave and honorable. Some also think the red stands for the blood that was shed. White is for purity and innocence. As a new country, we were starting over. We created our own laws and Constitution like nothing that was seen before. Some believe that the white stands for the land we have conquered. Finally, the blue is for the color of the chief (President), but some feel that it stands for the oceans we crossed to settle here.
Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that has since become our National Anthem during the War of 1812. He was so emotionally moved by the fact that the flag was still flying over Fort McHenry after a night of fighting and bombing the British were trying to give it. It eventually became our National Anthem.
US Federal Statute (36 U.S. Code § 301 – National anthem) says we should stand and face the flag (or the music – in the case of no flag) when the “Star Spangled Banner” is played or sung. All of the battles fought are what has given us the freedoms we have now, the freedoms to be able to live the lives we have. In my eyes, it is a show of disrespect to all of the men and women who died to give us those rights.
People want to make a political issue against the current government by not standing for the Anthem or the Pledge. There are other ways we can state our view. Why do we want to disrespect those who have fought to give us those freedoms? We can protest without burning flags or showing disrespect to all who have given their lives for our country.
You may agree with me, or you may think that I am wrong. My issue has nothing to do with race or politics. It has to do with respect. I may not agree with the current President or the way things are being done in this country, but I will stand for both the “Pledge of Allegiance” and for the “Star Spangled Banner.” People gave their lives for me to have a say.
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