Am I the only person in the USA who has read the U.S. code concerning "Respect for the Flag"? May I quote US Code, Title 36, Subtitle 1, Part A, Chapter 3, Paragraph 301, Subtitle 171, "Conduct During Playing. "During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart." Then it continues with wording for those in uniform.

The wording includes "should," not shall or must or will. This is in conformance with U.S. doctrine that no one should be forced to violate conscience in this country.

I served 26 years in the military defending citizens' rights, whether I agreed with their position or not. Today I defend the right of anyone to render — or not — proper respect for the flag in the way they choose. We don't force foreign visitors to pay respect to our flag. If someone has no right hand, we don't object to them not placing what they don't have over their heart. If.. well you get my point. If a football player chooses not to stand during the playing of the national anthem, that is his right, and all citizens should respect that right — even the president of the United States, and football franchises.

John Brockbank

West Haven

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