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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Patriotism, the Flag, the Anthem, Black Lives, and the NFL

This topic is of course off topic in a literal sense but very important.

I have never understood token patriotism and why things like the flag and national anthem are so important. I attend a lot of sporting events and always find those things to be superficial and unnecessary. Years ago, Phil Wrigley, the gum manufacturer, owned the Cubs. He only played the national anthem on special occasions, national holidays, etc. He felt it diminished the anthem to play it too often. Good for him.

Second, I don’t understand equating patriotism with the military. Why is the flag about the military? Why at sporting events do they single out a military person in attendance for a standing ovation? Don’t teachers, social workers, nurses, and just good people contribute much to our country and deserve to be honored?

This gets at my third point. The NFL and all the professional sports leagues have used cheap patriotism to promote themselves. They marketed this stuff particularly after 9/11.

Third, people who believe the flag is being dis respected should complain as loudly about flag clothing, underwear, t shirts and other articles of clothing in flag colors. They should also complain about misuse of the flag, letting it get dirty, etc.

Finally, the protest begun by Black athletes is not about the flag or patriotism, but about how poorly people of color are still treated in this country. I give credit to those initial athletes who were willing to risk their careers for the cause. Written by Paul Dribin

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