Donald Trump has lately been criticised for his comments against athletes in the US who kneel during the national anthem as a protest to treatment of blacks by police, with the US president saying they are disrespecting the flag and the country.
In a speech last week, Trump even went as far as to suggest that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner and expressed his views on Twitter:
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
However, a Twitter user who goes by the name HennyWise was quick to point out certain sections of the US Flag Code that people are already inadvertently breaking.
Since “disrespecting the flag” is still the narrative being used, this courtesy of the US Flag Code Chapter 10: Respect for flag
A Thread— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
Let’s jump right in...
US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176C
“The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.” pic.twitter.com/a9niowcX5f— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176D
“The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.” pic.twitter.com/z3rywoKDtO— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
Here’s a popular violation
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176I
“The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.” pic.twitter.com/OMNzTurFaD— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176I (pt 2)
“It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like...” pic.twitter.com/xHG3sypUrA— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176I (pt3)
“...or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.” pic.twitter.com/WVvQVjD6qG— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
Since it’s Saturday...
US Flag Code Chapter 10.176J
“No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.” pic.twitter.com/7R8sZmqcp1— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
Nothing in the Flag Code explicit states you have to stand, just that you “should.” All the things I listed were outlined as disrespectful.— T’Carlton M’Banks (@koopa_kinte) September 23, 2017
On June 14, 1923, which is also known as Flag Day, a federal code was put in place as a guideline for how to use the American flag.
The Flag Code, however, is not enforceable as Marc Leepson, the author of Flag: An American Biography, explained in Washington Post in 2008: “It has been part of the US Code… since 1942. But the Flag Code is not enforced, and it’s not enforceable.
“It’s simply a set of guidelines that carries no penalties for noncompliance; it doesn’t even have enforcement provisions. Think of it as a sort of federally mandated Miss Manners manifesto.”