The issue of kneeling when the national anthem is played has again come to the attention of the American public.

The protocol for addressing the anthem  must be made clear. That protocol, since we have had an anthem (1831), and supported by federal law, requires that when the national anthem is played in public the procedure, unless physically handicapped, is that you stand with your heels together, your hand over your heart and face the flag of our country. Anything less than that shows lack of pride and is disrespectful of the national anthem and our nation, which the anthem represents.

It is that simple.

Those who make excuses for this disrespect are hypocrites. Those who kneel show that they have a superficial understanding of our national history at best, are playing to the crowd and ought to put their energy into positive, respectable action.

Karl Killingstad, Southern Pines

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page:

(10) comments

Frank Staples

While totally understanding that it is one's right to kneel in disrespect I absolutely abhor the actual practice of it. How totally ignorant of the kneelers to not know the price that was paid for their right to be disrespectful...and how totally hateful for those that are aware of the price to still put on such a shameful show!

greg regan

Frank, I knelt when I asked my wife to marry me, I kneel when attending Mass and neither action has ever been interpreted as disrespectful. The fact is the action taken by those kneeling during the national anthem was explain by them as a peaceful action to draw attention to an issue they felt was not being addressed by the American public. I don't know of any action taken while kneeling that has ever been considered disrespectful until people who don't know those that were kneeing decided to not listen and instead interpreted their action into one of disrespect. Maybe if the public listened then we wouldn't be in the position as a country we find ourselves in today.

Frank Staples

Those episodes of kneeling are showing respect, as you should well know. Kneeling during the anthem is a sign of disrespect. As one who served I find it disrespectful to those who have paid for your freedom. If you want my support for your cause then don't act disrespectful to a country that is the greatest on the face of the earth...that has done more for the disadvantaged than any other country and does to this day.

Barbara Misiaszek

It is not the law to stand for the Anthem. 36 U.S.C. Section 301 is suggestive and not regulatory.

John Misiaszek

Ric Mayle

Standing with your hand over your heart may not be the law but it is certainly the right thing to do to show the respect for the flag and all who died for it. I just watched the 10 part series on Netflix "World War II in color". If you cant understand the respect needed to be shown by our citizens for what our troops did for America and the world, than you are just plain stupid!

ken leary

Really, it is a federal law that I stand with my heels together, hand on my heart, and look at the flag when the poorly chosen melody is played? Didn't know that. To your point though, I enthusiastically agree, to a point. To not demonstrate the above mentioned militaristic behavior when accosted by the poorly chosen melody is indeed a demonstration of disillusionment, to say the least, with our country’s direction; but it is not hypocritical. It would appear to be the author of this letter who has a questionable understanding of our history.

Ric Mayle

Okay, I read your comments three times and I still have no idea what you just said. As far as Karl's comments go, great job pal. I agree 100 percent.

Mark Hayes

[unsure][huh] Thought it was just me.

Mark Hayes

A show of disfavor for the kneeling exhibitionist can be as simple as not attending or paying to watch events where the practice of kneeling has become part of the show. Simple as that.

Stephen Woodward

If only our children were taught these basic standards in our schools.

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