Anthem take a knee protest

Taking a Look at “Taking a Knee”

“When someone “takes a knee” they confirm America’s freedom…”

When I turn on the TV in the morning it’s not without some trepidation. Will there be a new terror attack on a school, a mall, a church? Will there be a crawl running across the bottom of the telecast with an account of how many are dead or injured…so far?

So, I have to admit I was relieved to see the top story recently: kneeling for the national anthem.

I’m a retired cop. I was a Marine, my two brothers served also, both of them Vietnam era. Of course I love what our anthem represents. It represent America in music and words, along with a beautiful display of red, white and blue iconography.

But these are not America.

America is freedom.

America is the place where expression is not just tolerated, it is protected by law, even if we don’t like the expression. Especially if we don’t like it.

When I first saw a” kneeling in protest” it bothered me just as it did many of you. Often my initial gut reactions take me to a place that I do well to kneel and reflect upon.

After stepping back I realized our armed forces didn’t die for the flag or the anthem, they died for the ideas behind them.


And this kneeling to the anthem was done in full confidence of the kneeler that he was not going to be hauled away to prison for it.

The take-a knee-protest was primarily against America’s police killings.

I’ve written at length in several blog posts about my feelings on police killings of civilians. I believe much of the reporting on it is misleading. I won’t go into it all here but if you like please visit:  Barrage on Blue:

But if you don’t agree with me you too can write a blog post about what you think. you can protest, you can form movements, appear on TV, preach, sing…or kneel.

Just don’t make me read, hear or see body counts in malls, classrooms, pews. I think Colin Kaepernick is actually a model for dissent in America. If you have a real grievance take a knee, not a gun.

But when someone “takes a knee” they confirm America’s freedom of speech,  they bask in our blessed freedom of expression. And if you don’t like the kneeler’s act of protest…protest that…any way you like…peacefully.

Just look at North Korea’s throngs dutifully clapping at their flag, their anthem or Kim jong-un’s diatribes What would become of one of them should they refuse to clap, if they chose to kneel in protest? One can only imagine the type of execution.

One recent North Korean defector, “You have to do it because you don’t want to die.” “When people are clapping…if you don’t clap, if you nod off, you are marked as not following the doctrine of Kim jong-Un.” “In our unit, when I was a lieutenant one of our own soldiers was executed. I have seen many public executions.” Sky News Sept. 28, 2017 See full article:

Final flags DSC_4814.jpg

America is a 241-year return-run touchdown of liberty. And I don’t take it lightly.

Sure, you can kneel to our anthem if you so choose. But our constitution will remain unbent because of brave men and women who knelt in trenches, who knelt behind jungle brush or sand bag parapets. Men and women who left, in those combat placements, their legs, their dreams…their lives.

So, if a football player chooses to kneel in protest, I say let him. But maybe I’ll also stand at attention a just a bit taller for our anthem, for our flag, for the ideas they represent…in the sincerest respect for an America that allows such freedom…that kneeling in protest represents.

God bless America,
Lee Winters,

shedding a little light wherethesundontshine





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