When did kneeling for the national anthem become mainstream?
As if it wasn’t bad enough that we have to see overpaid spoiled sports stars kneeling for the national anthem, now we have to read about elected city councilmembers doing the same thing.
Monday night’s board of selectmen meeting in this pastoral Connecticut River town featured a discussion on the closing of an elementary school, the awarding of a lawn care bid and a deeply polarizing debate over the meaning of the First Amendment.
As Fox News reported, this whole mess was instigated at a board meeting earlier this month when Democratic Selectwoman Melissa J. Schlag decided it was ok for a public servant such as herself to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance in protest of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, his stance on Illegal Aliens and other policies set forth by the President.
As you would expect the backlash has been swift and fierce as reported by The Connecticut Courant:
“Her stance, which echoes the public dissents of NFL players, drew harsh condemnation from critics, including several Republican gubernatorial candidates, and a spirited defense from supporters.
On Monday, the first board meeting after the controversy, both sides came to the Haddam Volunteer Firehouse as the minutia of small town government gave way to an impassioned display reflecting the cultural and political fault lines of the Trump era.
“This is political speech,” Paul White, a 49-year-old local attorney, said over jeers from some in the audience. ‘Whether I agree or not it doesn’t matter. She has the right … to convey a political message.”
But Calvin Bunnel, 71, came from Meriden to express his anger at Schlag’s silent protest. “You don’t turn your back on the flag,” he said. He wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the message, “If you don’t like this flag, I’ll help you pack your bags.”
I did not go to Vietnam … to pick and choose who gets to be better Americans.
— Bob Wallin, Haddam
Bunnel served in Vietnam and, like many other veterans in the audience, views kneeling during the pledge as a sign of profound disrespect to those who served in the military.
“I wholeheartedly respect your right to protest, to take a knee,” said Pablo Arroyo, a 58-year-old town resident who served in the Marine Corps. “But if that’s what you would like to do, do it on your own time. I am not here to disrespect you as you’ve done to my flag, my country.”
Melissa Schlag, selectman from Haddam CT, is doing the "take a knee" thing, during the Pledge of Allegiance.
What a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/KDIY2ADVVV
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) August 1, 2018