I saw something interesting today…
Tell me, what you would think if you saw a black man waving an American flag that’s black? The red and blue parts of the flag are blacked out.
I saw a thread on my community’s Facebook page. A man said that he’d been seeing a black American flag waving a lot and wondered what it meant. He’d seen it on bumper stickers, on the side of the road, and even flying off the back of a pick up truck.
Someone explained that it’s the Blue Lives Matter flag. The red and blue parts of the USA flag are black and there’s one blue stripe across the middle. It’s flown to show respect to a fallen police officer. This man of the original post, a veteran, was offended and was surprised that police would do that to the flag. He explained that there are rules regarding the handling of our flag and that the colors of our flag were specifically chosen and symbolic. White signifies purity and innocence. Red, hardiness and valour, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.
I hear what this man is saying but I also understand that these flags are symbolic of a grieving heart and to pay respect to a fallen comrade. It’s a peaceful way to raise their voice as a group to say that they are people of value who are tired of the flippant loss of their brothers and sisters.
I had a conversation with a friend this week who was offended because of the black football players who kneel during the national anthem. She said it was a slap in the face to those who have served our country. It made me think a bit about why I stand during the national anthem or to say the pledge to the flag. Honestly, I don’t stand to honor war vets but for love and pride of my country. I think of the beauty of our constitution. “We the people of the United States….establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense….”. If I was honoring war vets, I’d salute a soldier, not a flag.
When I see those men kneel, I also do not see disrespect. I see men taking a knee because their heart is grieving and because they want to pay respect to a fallen comrade. It’s a peaceful way to raise their voice as a group to say that they are people of value who are tired of the flippant loss of their brothers and sisters.
Both kneeling and flying a black flag are protected rights of our freedom of speech. It’s a tool to “petition the government for a redress of GRIEVANCES.” I’m rarely offended by anyone exercising that right.
These two conversations made me wonder: if one saw a cop kneeling during the national anthem, would they see disrespect or a man who is broken hearted? If one saw a black man waving a blacked out American flag, would they see a man showing honor or someone disrespecting the flag? What would you think? I hope you are very honest with yourself. If you’re offended by these things, I hope you are equally offended. If not, consider that you may be the problem.
I do recognize the sacrifices that made our country what it is but that’s not the only thought on my heart and mind during the national anthem. I’m thinking, “look at us all standing together and singing in unison.”