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Unless you were literally living on a different plane of existence this weekend (which, kudos to you, if you were), you could not have missed President Donald Trump‘s three-day-long tirade against NFL players who have taken a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Trump’s repeated argument is that players who do so are disrespecting the American flag.
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
But what does it really mean to disrespect the flag? One man on Twitter broke it down by going line-by-line through the U.S. code regarding the flag and… you might be surprised by what really disrespects Old Glory.
Since “disrespecting the flag” is still the narrative being used, this courtesy of the US Flag Code Chapter 10: Respect for flag— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
Turns out it’s not NFL players disrespecting the flag, but organizations.
Let’s jump right in...— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176C
“The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.” pic.twitter.com/a9niowcX5f
It’s also a lot of patriotic Americans.
US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176D— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
“The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.” pic.twitter.com/z3rywoKDtO
Who love to drink Budweiser.
Here’s a popular violation— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176I
“The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.” pic.twitter.com/OMNzTurFaD
And decorate their home in red-white-and-blue paraphernalia.
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176I (pt 2)— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
“It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like...” pic.twitter.com/xHG3sypUrA
Most Fourth of July barbeques are extremely disrespectful.
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176I (pt3)— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
“...or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.” pic.twitter.com/WVvQVjD6qG
College football is out of the question.
Since it’s Saturday...— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176J
“No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.” pic.twitter.com/7R8sZmqcp1
But what about kneeling? Well…
Not covered in the “Respect for Flag” section; standing/kneeling/sitting. That’s considered a conduct violation, not disrespectful.— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
Nothing in the Flag Code explicit states you have to stand, just that you “should.” All the things I listed were outlined as disrespectful.— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
And as for the men and women in service who may be offended by players’ behavior…
Signed,— HennyWise (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
A 3rd Generation Vet
One might say that should settle things, but… we doubt it.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]