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Old 07-16-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CAH66 View Post
As far as the flag not having "jack shit" to do with the military... It doesn't belong exclusively to the military, no. It is nevertheless a very central part of military culture and if there is any segment of the population that holds the flag most dear, it is the military. It's an integral part of every single ceremony and function we have. It's the symbol of our national ideals, our service, and Reveille and Retreat are daily reminders of all we are there for. As a young airman I was in the Honor Guard for a couple years. I carried a lot of flag-draped coffins, folded a lot of graveside flags and, just once, ended up having to be the person who handed it off to a grieving daughter. It still stands out as one of the most difficult days of my entire life.

While I can't pretend to speak for all the military people out there, I can say that there are a lot of military members who feel that disrespect to the flag and the anthem is a slap in the face. If someone publicly smashed a crucifix every week on TV because they were pissed at the church's scandals, would you expect rank and file Catholics to not feel insulted and angry because it wan't "aimed" at them?
I can understand that service members feel that way, and I won't attempt to invalidate those feelings. But do they, do you, necessarily have to feel that way? Isn't it possible to judge something in context and separate your feelings about the flag as part of an honor guard, and the flag flying during a football game or out in someone's front porch for that matter?

I realize I'm sometimes a little 'different', but I generally speaking tend to take offenses at things that are intended to be offensive. It's the intent, not just the act itself, that should dictate whether something is offensive.

Kaepernick clearly intended to offend people who are in law enforcement and people who sympathetically take the word of law enforcement over the accused who come from Black communities. There's no question he intended to do that. But there's no evidence he intended to disrespect the military; in fact he (reportedly) consulted with (or was approached by?) a former veteran who basically said that if he's not going to honor the flag, kneeling was, at least in his view better than sitting on his helmet.

I understand that the flag can be an emotional reminder of wartime trauma, but can't it be something else at the same time? Can't it be something completely different in a completely different context? Is it fair to impose life experiences and values on others?

Last edited by asahi; 07-16-2019 at 12:39 PM.