Americans should defend country’s values more than symbols

Sabrina Satterthwaite, Editor-in-Chief

  The national anthem, our country’s flag- they’re just symbols. Of course there is value in respecting them because of what they represent for our country, but when it comes down to it, the flag is just a piece of cloth and the national anthem is just a song.

If what the symbols represent isn’t valued more than them, then we mock the symbols more than we do if we sit out during the national anthem or let the flag touch the floor.

Donald Trump says that doing these things “is a total disrespect to our heritage… [and] everything we stand for.” What really disrespects and mocks our heritage is not fighting for the freedoms and equality that the past soldiers and citizens of our country – our heritage – fought and even died for, the same freedoms that our country “stands for.”

One of the things our country stands for is its constitution, and under it, all citizens are given freedom of speech. This means that if some NFL players and teams are choosing to sit out of the national anthem, so be it. They cannot be fired for peaceably protesting against the issues they see in their country as Trump says they should, because the constitution, a sizable part of our country’s heritage, protects against it, and because their job is to play football, not make Donald J. Trump and other flag and national anthem worshipers happy.

The moment we start punishing those who stand up, or in the NFL’s case, sit down, for the protection of American values is the moment that we begin to negate what makes us America. Our values and freedom of speech must be protected more than a piece of cloth and a song.