We stand for unity, we stand for faith, we stand proud of our independent nation, we stand for the freedom and the lives lost for that freedom.
In the year 1776, the United States fought for our freedom. Each and every soldier risked their lives to protect our nation and ensure the freedom we are blessed to have today. Our flag stands and flies because of sacrifices heroic individuals made and continue to make each and every day.
In the year 2017, the United States has lost sight of its flag’s meaning. Red representing hardiness and valor, white symbolizing purity and innocence, and blue showing vigilance, perseverance, and justice. We lost respect for its representation, starting with a very popular television network, which shows athletes paid millions of dollars to be entertainers for the public. These individuals have found the need to disrespect our flag by taking a knee in a meaningless and ineffective manner. In the face of adversity, the flag has been flown and respected, acting as a symbol of our country and the idea that our nation was built on the principles of freedom.
Taking a knee in protest while our National Anthem is being sung and our flag flown shows complete and utter disrespect for the individuals who die every day to protect the citizens of our country. These multi-million dollar entertainers should be required to stand out of respect for our great nation. Police brutality exists and is an issue in the world; however, NFL players are hired entertainers, not elected civic leaders who can change laws, protect our rights, or fight against the misbehavior of officers. They should have the common courtesy and be required to stand in respect of our soldiers who fight for our freedom each and every day.
Police brutality exists in this world we live in. But, do we take that and blame our flag and those who fought and fight for our freedom? No. Our flag has been flown throughout history representing an immensely diverse group of people. Stated by navytimes.com, “It flew with the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and it rocketed into space on the shoulder patches of women, gay, Hispanic, Asian and African American astronauts.”
Men and women who fight for our country are not asking for praise; they are not asking to be recognized for their courage and bravery. They do not ask for a raise in pay, nor do they make millions of dollars. We take for granted the sacrifices they make.
We should give back, show appreciation for our soldiers, not do the opposite — take a knee while our hearing national anthem, which is supposed to unify and act as a symbol of pride for our nation that has allotted us so many privileges. Do not take a knee. Do not disrespect our nation’s ever so precious flag. There are other, more effective ways to make injustice, such as police brutality, known nationwide and in efforts for change. In the time being, do not give these multi-million dollar individuals the satisfaction of watching them. We are the source of their income. We are able to control and stop the mistreatment of the United States Flag.
Lauren Baldwin, of Dalton, is a 2017 Lackawanna Trail High School graduate and current Kutztown University student.