Far fewer NFL players kneeled during the national anthem last Sunday than the number that protested America the weekend before. But the ongoing controversy should have us all reflecting on why we stand for the national anthem.

Jane Hampton Cook is the author of “America’s Star-Spangled Story” and weighed into the controversy for several reasons why we stand.

First, she writes, We stand for the flag, not to please ourselves but to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

More than 1.2 million Americans have died because of war.


Next, We stand for the flag not to focus on what divides us but on what unites us, which is being an American.

Standing for the flag and anthem at a sports game or other public gatherings, symbolically shows that we are all Americans.

We stand for the flag not to pledge allegiance to a president, but to honor the reality that we have an elected a president and not a lifetime king.

By standing, we honor the fact that our country has had 45 presidents. Our flag reflects our system of government and our unity.

We stand not because of past or present pain caused by injustice, but to salute the principle of justice. Patriotism is pride in the principles that paved the way for change.

And finally, We stand for the flag, not for our generation but to set an example for the next generation. We stand for the flag and anthem so our children can stand for the flag and anthem.

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