It seems kneeling during the national anthem is gaining momentum as a way to protest what some see as transgressions against a value system that is embodied in our nationalist symbol. I know this is a prickly subject infused with polemics. One side says, we should honor our flag and what it represents for all; the other side says, but it's not representing what it should, right now, for me. And with that, a line is drawn, both sides are in the trenches staring at each other waiting for someone to blink as the rest of us push kids off to school in the morning, travel to work in stop-and-go traffic, worry about the electric bill that was $50 higher this month and plan tonight's dinner.
I'm not sure taking sides is useful here. It would be like adding another voice to a chorus that's singing the same song. Besides, there's always another issue lurking underneath what we see. But, I do wonder why it is not okay to kneel in protest, but it is okay to paint our flag on a heart snipped from tin to sell with log pigs.
Or, it is okay to print an image of our flag on a beach towel to sell with Obama tee-shirts at a souvenir booth.
Or, it is okay to wrap an image of our flag around a dog's neck or imprint an image of our national flag on an umbrella at a newspaper stand.
It seems to me kneeling in protest only has force because everyone -- those kneeling and those watching -- understands the meaning of our national symbols. Or at least we do most of the time.