This is America


‘By far the most dangerous situation I’ve ever been in’: Customer films entire restaurant standing for ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ in the middle of their meals

‘Was it like for a reason?’


Jack Alban


A TikToker’s video of a restaurant playing the national anthem is sparking debate on the popular social media platform.

Paulina (@paulinappa_0) took the video at Rainbow Oaks Country Market in Fallbrook, California, which shows several diners standing up out of respect for the song. She found the situation to be “dangerous” and several other TikTok users also shared similar experiences they had at other restaurants, which they too found to be unnerving.

@paulinappa_0 By far the most dangerous situation I’ve ever been in #godblessamerica #getout #illegal #whitepeoplethings ♬ original sound – Paulina

The clip starts off with Paulina recording her pancakes and then the interior of a restaurant. She stays seated in front of her meal as other patrons stand up and salute the flag as “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays on the establishment’s loudspeaker. Her camera pans to TV sets hanging on the walls that display animated graphics of American flags waving in the wind.

A caption for the post reads: “By far the most dangerous situation I’ve ever been in,” followed by the “#getout #illegal #whitepeoplethings” hashtags.

One commenter remarked that this isn’t a unique experience just to the restaurant Paulina visited: “i worked at mission bbq and they made us do this everyday at noon, i hated it there so much.”

Another person who said they visited Mission BBQ as a customer experienced a similar situation that also didn’t sit too well with them: “this happened when i was at mission bbq once and it was so awkward that i haven’t been back since.”

Someone else agreed that they, too, thought it was a very uncomfortable situation as well: “Girl naurrrr I would be sweating.”

One commenter just couldn’t understand why a restaurant would do that: “Was it like for a reason? Or did it just start playing randomly and they all got up on reflex?? Wild.”

This isn’t the first time a restaurant has gone viral after footage of employees and customers standing up out of respect for the National anthem was posted online. Mission BBQ purportedly does on daily at 12pm.

A redditor also uploaded a video of a Mission BBQ National Anthem session, which had one commenter remarking, “As an American, this makes me incredibly uncomfortable.”

However, there was another who said that the headline of the Reddit post was “misleading” as it indicates that the chain “makes” individuals stand up for the anthem out of respect, which they claim is not the case: “I was at the one by me when it first opened and this happened. The headline is misleading, nobody ‘makes you’. They have an announcement, and I think about half of the people participated. That being said, it was weird to watch.”

The Burn reported Mission BBQ continued the National Anthem tradition, even during government-mandated stay-at-home and social distancing protocols implemented in response to the fervor surrounding COVID-19. The restaurant issued a statement on their dedication to this practice in a Facebook post: “Playing our National Anthem every day at noon has been a tradition ever since we first opened our doors on September 11, 2011. In spite of the fact that we can’t gather in our 93 locations, Mission BBQ will continue to take two minutes out of our day to honor and salute our flag and our country. We will be live streaming the National Anthem on our Facebook page, everyday at noon until this crisis has past… because we are free and because we can.”

Rainbow Oaks Country Market Restaurant also stated via Facebook that they play the national anthem at noon, every day. Along with the announcement, the brand attached an image of actor Gary Sinise speaking into a microphone, speaking to the significance of the American flag: “That flag represents something very powerful to the men and women who serve our country. So out of respect for them and those who fight to protect that flag and what that flag represents, I stand up and I put my hand over my heart,” the quote attributed to Sinise reads.

Paulina uploaded a response, via TikTok, to a user who told her, “If you don’t like it here I’m sure Africa will take you back.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Rainbow Oaks via email and Paulina via TikTok comment for further information.

The Daily Dot