Burning the flag and not standing for the national anthem are within one’s rights, protected under the Constitution. If one wishes to burn the flag, if one wishes to not stand when the national anthem is played, one can.

Burning a flag seemed to take root back during the Vietnam War. It became a way to protest the war. Remember Rick Monday, the right fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who stopped a flag burner attempting to light his Zippo to torch a gas-soaked flag in right field in Dodger Stadium? Monday knocked the burner on his butt, grabbed the flag and received a standing ovation from the fans!

I would be so bold as to say a large percentage of Americans respect the flag and stand when the anthem is played. We expect that to be done. When an overpaid athlete uses overt disrespect to these national treasures as a way to protest, I suspect their protest will result in unintended consequences. I suspect Black Lives Matter, upon burning Ferguson, didn’t do anything for their cause, in fact, suspect it hurt their positions. Antifa, based upon their destructive protests, is now classified as a “hate” organization.

Commissioner Roger Goodell states President Donald Trump’s comments are “divisive” and show a “lack of respect” for the pro football league and its players. I would say, Commissioner Goodell, your organization and members' actions are divisive and show a lack of respect for my country.

As this disrespect to our flag and to our anthem grows the unintended consequences will grow too. Fewer people will show up at NFL games … attendance will tank as will the number of us watching. The same will hit the NBA. Hang in the weeds and watch as the protests conducted in this way backfire.

Ron Carlson, Bismarck

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