Do not forfeit your anthem
The national anthem was birthed out of intense oppression. Francis Scott Key describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity. It is our inheritance — our American birthright. It belongs to every American man and woman of every color, race, sexual orientation and religion; whether your family came across on the Mayflower or you obtained citizenship last night.
The American anthem, along with the American flag, is a living symbol of the intangible virtuous soul our country aspires to: a country of equality, justice and liberty for all.
Anyone is constitutionally within their rights to peacefully protest the American flag, anthem, monuments or even apple pie. Americans are constitutionally protected against reprisal for such peaceful protests. The healthy recourse to protest is ideological debate of issues. A protest is designed to inspire intellectual debate for the betterment of all Americans.
Like it or not, everyone who participated in the NFL protest had a constitutional right to do so. Whether you agree or disagree, it is undisputable that we must wholeheartedly defend the individual’s right to do so. Free speech must be protected. In this case, everyone involved peacefully assembled in an act of protest. If we pick and choose what people can protest or speak out about, then we nullify the integrity of the Constitution.
Unfortunately the NFL/President fiasco seemed more about chest pounding. The protest wasn’t about an anthem as much as it was a show of player solidarity against attempted reprisal. The collateral damage was that the anthem was presented as a symbol of oppression. The anthem doesn’t belong to the government or any one faction that would seek to claim it as their own. It belongs to all the people.
We the people — Americans of each gender, color, religion and beliefs — must not relinquish our birthrights. It is OUR Flag. It is OUR anthem. It is OUR country.
Let us rally around symbols birthed to inspire us because a little inspiration and brotherly love is exactly what our country needs right now.
— The Progress-Index Editorial