Patriotism is not defined by how we stand or kneel during the national anthem | Letter

Military protocol when the U.S. flag is present, during public performance of the national anthem, is that active military members must stand at attention and salute the flag if serving as honor guard.

Citizens standing at attention, removing hats, or placing hands on hearts are customs and traditions that have evolved over time.*

The President has started yet another divisive controversy, pitting citizens against citizens. His tweet that people who kneel during the national anthem are not patriotic deepens an unhealthy division within our country. Tweeting that the NFL should require players to stand during the national anthem adds fuel to the fire.

Why is kneeling less patriotic than standing? Players taking a knee demonstrate their desire to improve our country by calling attention to discrimination. Who writes these patriotism rules anyway? Certainly not politicians or presidents.

Every day, citizens practice patriotism in unique and individual ways: Treating each other with respect as equals; paying their taxes; being PTA members, teachers, volunteers, state legislators, or clergy members; or serving in the military. In other words, a patriot is anyone who loves this country and who works to make it better. Patriotic examples are as varied as our populace.

The President and his believers choose their patriotism. But violating a citizen’s right to free speech flies in the face of patriotism.

Please stop this needless divisiveness over who is or who is not a patriot. We all are.

Charlotte Rempfer

North Bend

*See http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title36/subtitle1/partA/chapter3&edition=prelim, section 301, National Anthem for the guidelines on conduct during the playing of the national anthem.

More in Letters to the Editor

Diverging diamond interchange design won’t meet demands of area traffic | Letter

A diverging diamond intersection may look better, but is no substitute for the traffic-moving ability of ramps and fly-overs.

Tax bill puts greed before all else, transfers wealth to those who have the most | Letter

Here’s what the Republican tax bill does: • Shovels a trillion dollars… Continue reading

New trade agreement must include public health, environmental protections | Letter

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is underway. Imperative… Continue reading

Call your Congressman to stop Republican tax bill | Letter

I’m not sure what disturbs me more: Elected representatives who push a… Continue reading

Citizens’ quality of life has suffered with rapid development | Letter

The quality of life in Snoqualmie has decreased significantly in recent years… Continue reading

Siren restoration was funded by memorials, not Peterson estate | Letter

For those of you who haven’t seen the correction in the Snoqualmie… Continue reading

Fletcher’s Falls Crossing solution is one reason for this voter’s support | Letter

I support Fuzzy Fletcher for mayor of Snoqualmie. I don’t want Snoqualmie… Continue reading

North Bend City Council colleague supports Alan Gothelf for re-election | Letter

Choices, we all have choices in this upcoming election cycle, and that’s… Continue reading

MacLean’s engagement, leadership have earned this reader’s vote | Letter

As a parent and a teacher in Snoqualmie Valley Schools, I am… Continue reading