Texarkana, USA- With the recent controversies from the NFL players over standing for the Star Spangled Banner, I wondered if Friday night would see any problems in the big game in Texarkana. The big game was between Pleasant Grove and Arkansas High with the most of fans coming directly from Texarkana, USA.
There are those in the NFL who have expressed a desire to not stand up for the National Anthem. They have openly stated that they feel the flag represents oppression on a national scale. People in general could certainly point to times when our flag has been used for oppression such as dealing with American Natives, dealing with slavery, mistreatments of immigrants, and even dealing with people from countries we have gone to war with during the past. There is no argument from most people that the nation represented by the Stars and Strips has certainly had bad moments in history. But I would say to those people still looking at only the negative aspects of our country that no country is perfect, and there is a lot of good in the United States.
People wanting to see only the negative or the oppression in our country should take time to reflect on the positive aspects. We are fortunate to live in a country where Civil Rights laws are enforced. We live in a country where you can not be thrown in prison without a trial. We live in a country where you can freely travel from one ocean to another without having special permission or special passes. We live in a country where healthcare is provided, college educations are provided, and vocational based educations are provided by a government through grants, loans, and subsidies. We live in a country where someone can start out as a stock kid at a local grocery store and work up to owning a chain of grocery stores if he or she wishes. We live in a country where women are encouraged to grow, work, expand, and fulfill a life they wish to have. We live in a country where we can for the most part walk down city streets without fear of attacks from our enemies. We live in a country with protection from the most powerful military in the world. We live in a country where we can vote on our representatives, where we have guaranteed freedoms by a Bill of Rights, and where we can petition our government for change.
The list of benefits in the United States could go on and on for pages, but it’s important to note that while we have some negative aspects even today in our country, it could by all means be far worse. Freedom has never been free, and war after war that the United States has endured have all been with an ultimate goal of freedom and unity for the states.
Today when we stand up for the National Anthem or for the Pledge. We don’t do it because of the negatives of our country. We do it for two very simple reasons. We do it as sign of acknowledgment of all the great benefits and freedoms we have under those Stars and Stripes. Finally, we do it for all those who gave their lives so we could stand because they can no longer stand for the flag, and we must do so for them.
Friday night in Texarkana, USA, teams from Arkansas and Texas met. As the National Anthem was played there was no red and white or black and gold. There was no Pleasant Grove or Texarkana, Arkansas. There was simply Americans standing up for the flag recognizing the benefits, freedoms, and those no longer able to stand because they paid for our right to do so. So when you decide not to stand for the flag, you might want to consider all the benefits and freedoms you have enjoyed while you talk about your oppression. After all, our flag is still there to protect your right to talk negatively about it.