Stand for the anthem

To the Editor:

Part of federal law, calling for respect for our flag and first enacted by Congress in 1942, is quite clear about expected conduct during a public rendition of the national anthem:(1) When the flag is displayed: (A)individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; (B)members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and (C)all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and(2)when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

And because the right to free speech is guaranteed by the Constitution in this country, no criminal penalty can be exacted if anyone chooses to ignore this or any other part the full law, sometimes known as US Flag Etiquette. Flag Etiquette is basically a suggestion of how to respect our national symbol, the American Flag and all that it stands for.

I do not like it when the NFL players kneel during the playing of our anthem. I would prefer to see the players stand up for America during the national anthem or stand off the field.

The protesting players’ stated cause is a good one. Police misconduct and police brutality, especially when it involves bias of any kind, is not only wrong, it is un-American. Our American laws stand firmly against police misconduct and brutality toward anyone. To me, standing up for the national anthem is a way to stand up for those laws and to stand against those who won’t follow or enforce them.

There are so many of other forums where NFL players can use their celebrity status to stand down for bad policing and peaceably work toward change. At the very least, they might want to consider their money could be better spent on the cause in lieu of kneeling and handing it over in the form of a fine to Roger Goodell.

Jim Brown


Villains are better

at obfuscation

To the Editor:

Not the only way of knowing, but one of the better ways of understanding what’s going on in a community occurs when a reader of the local newspaper reads the letters to the editor.

A dearth of letters may signify a lack of interest of community affairs. But more takes place within the state of affairs both political and social than one may have realized. That is simply so because so many of us choose to be ignorant or uninvolved.

My point is illustrated by three of the “Letters to the editor” in last week’s issue of the Fairfield Citizen.

The letter by Stu Bloom expresses the writer’s worries that Ludlowe and other Fairfield schools may not be ready for the probability of a calamity at the school. This is based upon first-hand experience as he sought entrance to the school. He picked a door that should have been locked and was able to get the admission he sought.

Bloom asks a simple but complete question. Isn’t there anything that the community can do to thwart an attack the likes of which brings so much rancor and savagery into the hearts of so many?

Similarly, Jim Brown’s letter takes Chris Murphy, Democratic Senator from Connecticut, to task for seemingly feeling unique in taking on the gun-lobby when all the while it is, in his view, a combined party effort to address the issue of too many weapons of war in the hands of somewhat distraught individuals, including, minors.

As a 32-year veteran of school supervision and administration, I wager that it is the administrators who ought to be on the front lines of protecting the schools, for they can not only enforce the rules on school security, make it a priority or else, and they can also discipline with equanimity, while knowing full-well where the dangers lie and therefore are prepared to defend their schools.

And, as those who favor one party over another, they at least ought to know and acknowledge that the politics between one party and another can differ over a long list of issues ranging to support for a party or a cause, for a president or a party. The villains are better at obfuscation than we are.

Gerard Coulombe