It seems that the trend of protesting the American national anthem is one that began quite far back in the past. As it turns out, this country’s recent Democrat president refused to show his respect to the anthem in a way that would make Kaepernick proud.
A recent video has come out showing then-Senator Obama refraining from putting his hand over his heart during the national anthem. With everyone else in the picture, including Hillary Clinton, placing their hand over their heart, Obama was the only one who refused to show this respect to the US.
Having been verified by the fact-checking site as “true,” the video shows a startling lack of awareness for a politician, a career that tends to be dominated by those who recognize the importance of symbolism. Having first been recorded in September 2007, Obama was spotted being the sole person not observing the hand-over-heart protocol as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played.
Obama was alongside four other Democrat presidential candidates, including Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Bill Richardson. Also in the picture is Ruth Harkin, wife of Senator Tom Harkin. It should be noted that the US Flag Code still mentions that those present should stand “with the right hand over the heart” during the playing of the US national anthem. Although some say that the code is a little outdated, many military manuals still reference it as the proper protocol to follow.
An Obama campaign spokesperson responded to the pictures, saying, “Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. In no way was he making any sort of statement, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous.”
Even Obama himself commented on his anthem posture. “My grandfather taught me when I was two. During the Pledge of Allegiance, you put your hand over your heart. During the national anthem, you sing.”
In fact, during his presidential campaign, Barack Obama addressed this point specifically. Amidst rumors that began to circulate implying that he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance, he stated, “In the internet age, there are going to be lies that are spread all over the place. I have been victimized by these lies. Fortunately, the American people are, I think, smarter than folks give them credit for,” he said.
Regardless, this gesture of his, intentional or not, stands as a glaring lack of awareness in an age when information and images circulate at an astronomical speed. As a person who had presidential ambitions, Obama should have known better than to be the sole person not to put his hand over his heart.
Obama has failed to pledge the flag and stopped wearing a US flag lapel pin. Did Obama respect the flag?
Even as far back as 2008, this, coupled with other factors, had many questioning Obama’s level of patriotism. According to a Fox News article, Obama also said that he decided to stop wearing a US flag lapel pin. “I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great and, hopefully, that will be a testimony to my patriotism,” said Obama.
Steve Doocy, co-host of “Fox and Friends,” felt otherwise. “First he kicked his American flag pin to the curb. Now Barack Obama has a new round of patriotism problems. Wait until you hear what the White House hopeful didn’t do during the singing of the national anthem.”
“He felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is,” former radio host Mark Williams added.
Some traditions need to be respected. For those who wish to lead this nation, patriotism should be an unquestionable quality. Unfortunately, it seems that both the former president as well as this current generation of NFL players find themselves lacking in this vital characteristic.