Here
and
Now

opinions

America divided on flag, anthem, other symbols

22 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
Login to comment

It's sad that people are manipulated to be childishly emotional over colored cloth. Nationalism is the energy drink of wars.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Soooo true. Its ridiculous for people to get all emotional about a piece of cloth or a song. A nation is so much more than that.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It's sad that people are manipulated to be childishly emotional over colored cloth.

So, the people quoted in the article are deluded about what they believe, and you know better than they? My, my, my. Yoy know a lot.

I don't question or disparage anyone who wants to sing their national anthem, so long as it is not used to further a hate-driven ideology or party.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I don't question or disparage anyone who wants to sing their national anthem, so long as it is not used to further a hate-driven ideology or party

or so long as they don't force anyone else to do it. But you are right. If someone wants to sing it, they should be free to do so. My pervious comment was meant to underscore that a nation is so much more than a flag or anthem. And rather get worked up at people not wishing to wave the flag and sing the anthem, we should be looking at what factors caused their dissent and at the same time respecting their right to do so.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

People have the right to express their patriotism, or not, the way they want. Some stand and/or sing the anthem and/or cry/scream and/or put their right hand over their heart etc...imo all's fine no one has the right to tell others what they should or shouldn't do. 

tbh it's not only an issue in the usa but pretty much in all countries. And I think the newest citizens, minorities etc are often under more scrutiny than others.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There's nothing wrong with getting emotional over seeing one's flag, or having a strong attachment to it. The problem is when one uses that to try to force others to be nationalistic in the same way they are - which is what is happening all over America right now with this Kaepernick.

And while some people are complaining that veterans fought wars for that flag, what they are not realizing is that said veterans fought for the right of people like Kaepernick to protest in exactly the manner he is. It's amazing how people will freak out about even the idea that someone may want to restrict the 2nd amendment slightly, while then freaking out about someone's usage of their first amendment right to protest. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

These days it's ridiculously easy to find stories of Americans who face threats, even death threats for not standing for the anthem or engaging in some patriotic ritual. It never goes the other way. You never hear of death threats against Americans for standing. Despite the fact that one of the ideas driving far-right discourse these days is the idea that there are people out to destroy America. You'd think if there really were people out to destroy the US, that would happen. But the strongest sentiment ever espoused by anyone on the left is rarely anything more than that people who don't want to engage in patriotic ritual shouldn't be forced to.

What drives that disparity? Why is it there are people who fly into absolute hysterics when they see someone not participating in patriotic rituals? I mean, there was even a recent case of a pastor announcing an American high school sporting event who said that people who don't stand for the anthem should be shot at. You would think the media would be interested in examining the mind of someone so unable to deal with disagreement that they'd threaten violence against teens, but instead the AP just gives us a lukewarm, "Gee, some people say yes, some people say no" article.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The amazing in the United States, that as the country falls to ruin in corruption, is that most Americans care far more about our symbols than either the country, or most of its citizens. As a nation, we have forgotten what little we ever knew about our history, and never talk about the future anymore, the sure sign of a dying people.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"It's sad that people are manipulated to be childishly emotional over colored cloth"

Very true. The same is true for anthems and other such nonsense. Thankfully, I'm from a country which doesn't get into too much of a patriotic lather over this silliness but even there I was once shouted down by an angry 'patriot' for not standing for the national anthem at a formal event. Standing for a song which has "God save our gracious queen" as the opening line? Religion and monarchy? Two dangerous and divisive ideas in the space of 5 words? No thank you.

People have the right to dissent and I'm more than a bit suspicious of those who get teary-eyed at this dangerous rubbish.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My pervious comment was meant to underscore that a nation is so much more than a flag or anthem.

Indeed. It's just..well,...let me just quote Orwell:

"The reason for the rise and spread of nationalism is far too big a question to be raised here. It is enough to say that, in the forms in which it appears among English intellectuals, it is a distorted reflection of the frightful battles actually happening in the external world, and that its worst follies have been made possible by the breakdown of patriotism and religious belief. If one follows up this train of thought, one is in danger of being led into a species of Conservatism, or into political quietism. It can be plausibly argued, for instance — it is even possibly true — that patriotism is an inoculation against nationalism, that monarchy is a guard against dictatorship, and that organised religion is a guard against superstition. Or again, it can be argued that no unbiased outlook is possible, that all creeds and causes involve the same lies, follies, and barbarities; and this is often advanced as a reason for keeping out of politics altogether. I do not accept this argument, if only because in the modern world no one describable as an intellectual can keep out of politics in the sense of not caring about them. I think one must engage in politics — using the word in a wide sense — and that one must have preferences: that is, one must recognise that some causes are objectively better than others, even if they are advanced by equally bad means."

-- George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism, May, 1945

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well said Christopher.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice quote. tip of the stetson.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thankfully, I'm from a country which doesn't get into too much of a patriotic lather over this silliness

@Jimizo, sadly, I think there are signs that 'patriotism' is coming back into fashion in the UK too. Remembrance services in November have taken on a more triumphalist tone than those I remember as a kid. Soldiers are called heroes. And the BBC reporting always makes it clear that drugs in sport is something done by foreigners.

I sometimes chuckle of the memory of my dad being the only person (except for me) standing for the national anthem at the cinema as others rushed for the exits. Oh, the embarrassment, but he did what he thought was right. And I remember when Tommie Smith and John Carlos became my heroes at the Mexico Olympics. They also did what they thought was right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's another one:

'I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions.

-- George Carlin

Carlin is funny. But too cynical. I think loves of ones country is a fine thing. Indeed, part of me doesn't trust someone who dislikes his own country. I suppose I feel the same towards the ambivalence.

Patriotism to me is a good thing. But, I fear, my notion of patriotism is not the kind along the Russian model. Its more the Carlin model.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The American Left's denigration of the flag is simply a reflection of their Progressive multiculturalist ideology. The flag symbolizes the Constitution and the nation's political traditions. They are uncomfortable with that and the patriotism that goes along with it. They will pretend to be respectful of the flag when it serves their interests. But undermining the flag and the limitations placed on their progressive ideology by the Constitution is their goal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The flag symbolizes the Constitution and the nation's political traditions.

But we have right-wingers on this site who say that constitutional rights don't matter, except for the second amendment, and even that only for some people. If it's being said here, then it's being said elsewhere too. So how can you be surprised that some people wouldn't respect the flag on that level, when other people in their own country think that those constitutional rights only apply to themselves?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But we have right-wingers on this site who say that constitutional rights don't matter, except for the second amendment, and even that only for some people.

It isn't the "right-wingers" on this site or elsewhere that have a problem with the flag/constitution. It you have a problem with the right to bear arms, propose an amendment that will take firearms away from all American citizens. Not to mention the right to freedom of speech which the Left also seems to have a problem with lately. Oh that's right, amending the constitution is a nuisance and infringing upon rights is best done through the appointment of activist "left-wing" judges who will simply re-interpret the Constitution in a manner that fits their worldview.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It isn't the "right-wingers" on this site or elsewhere that have a problem with the flag/constitution.

Really? Because you have Bass saying that the fourth amendment should be ignored for people in impoverished areas who may be carrying guns, and that carrying guns should only be allowed for people not in impoverished areas. Both of which conflict with the constitution.

And if he's saying it, you know others are thinking it. He's by no means an anomaly in the party.

It you have a problem with the right to bear arms, propose an amendment that will take firearms away from all American citizens.

I couldn't agree more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Really? Because you have Bass saying that the fourth amendment should be ignored for people in impoverished areas who may be carrying guns, and that carrying guns should only be allowed for people not in impoverished areas. Both of which conflict with the constitution.

If that is indeed what he believes then I disagree - though he should speak for himself of course. The Constitution applies to all regardless of circumstance. Race and impoverishment are not limiting factors. Past illegalities or an incapacitation could be. if I were living in a particularly poor place I would not want a Democrat politician seeking to the limit the 2nd amendment the right to self-defense. And I wouldn't want to be subject to unreasonable searches/seizures just because I live in a high crime neighborhood. But maybe I take the Constitution more seriously than the average person on the left AND right these days.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, I'm glad you are a little more level headed about the situation than Bass is on the matter, although of course I think it would be better to repeal the second amendment altogether.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is an approach that I can at least respect as it puts a lie to the idea that the Constitution is not responsive to the needs of a modern democracy. I do not own a firearm myself but do believe that all citizens deserve the same right to defend themselves as do the political class and the wealthy. They do not ask for a personal Secret Service detail. They are not asking for a private security detail. You can take firearms from law abiding citizens but there is no way to stop criminals from getting them without imposing a police state. America cannot even stop the southern border from being overwhelmed by children. Good luck in your crusade to disarm the public. I suspect you will only succeed in making otherwise decent people without the protections of the wealthy and politically connected into criminals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I suspect you will only succeed in making otherwise decent people without the protections of the wealthy and politically connected into criminals.

I suspect I won't succeed in anything. America loves guns too much, and is more than willing to pay for that 'right' with the lives of children and innocents.

God bless the second amendment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites