My answer to Why is kneeling for the national anthem disrespectful?
Answer by Abbey Laurel-Smith:
Kneeling for the flag, the national anthem or “taking a knee” is not disrespectful. It is going back to a time after the American revolution and civil war, when taking a knee before the American flag and the anthem was the preferred way poor folks related to this object of deliverance. But land owners and the religious establishment after the American civil war frowned upon it. So a compromise was made to stand for the flag and the anthem, not kneel before it. These are not a religious objects.
Any one with four or five grand fathers (mostly Slaves, Irish and those of poor German, Dutch, Swede descendants in pre-revolution America) know fully well the history, the price paid and the compromise behind this act.
If in doubt, read up on why the Senate was set up. Look through George Washington’s diaries. Note his views about the best way to appease land owners and poor folks with nothing to loose, “That no harm should be inflicted on any party who decides to revert back to the original posture” – kneeling, before the flag wherever the anthem is being performed.
Problem is, we’ve had a lot of new arrivals to the Union after then…. say, till 1958 (if you check Ellis Island record) They are all in powerful positions today and they all see the flag and the national anthem differently than most “original” Americans do.
To them, the flag, the anthem and the statue of liberty are the same.
But to non-Royalist “poor” Americans (after the revolution, the civil war and their descendants) taking a knee was a valuable art that was taken from away them. That is why those in the know use this stance to protest.
In Colin Keapernick’s case: using this stance to press home a case against the Police – a provincially assigned non federal organization in the United States, wearing a flag!