Recently I read about a young man named Jonathan Isaac, who was the only person who stood in respect of the flag and the National Anthem at one of the Orlando Magic games.
This made me wonder how much courage this took and if this young man would get any repercussions by teammates or others for having decided to do so. All the other team members and coaches, with the blessings of the owners, “took a knee” while some held a clinched fist in the air.
How important is the National Anthem to the people of a country?
To not acknowledge the real purpose of the National Anthem flag could be seen as a form of disrespect. In today’s world, there are many who fervently espouse their cause, whatever it may be, by using the National Anthem of the United States as their rallying point.
Therefore, I ask again…how important is this anthem we sing? Let’s start with a definition:
A national anthem (also state anthem, national hymn, national song, etc.) is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation’s government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. (Wikipedia)
If then, it evokes “history, traditions and struggles of its people,” should it not be given great respect?
This song, our National Anthem, and our flag are part of a great American history. Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words as he observed the flag flying over Fort McHenry, after a battle with the British in the War of 1812.
The 200th anniversary of the “Star-Spangled Banner” occurred in 2014 with various special events occurring throughout the United States. The men and women who died for freedom, under this flag, are great in number. To sing and honor the flag and our Anthem is, without question, one of our greatest privileges. Certainly, those in the battle for independence and battles since for world freedom have seen great struggles. Many had to stand alone.
Is it really important to stand during the singing of the National Anthem?
Some may not realize that there was a federal law concerning the appropriate way to honor the singing of the National Anthem and the associated flag ceremony. I bet you didn’t know how many revisions there have been to that law and what is considered appropriate by most citizens when the Anthem is played. Here are the highlights of the law:
….When the U.S. national anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing.
….On June 22, 1942, the law was revised indicating that those in uniform should salute during its playing, while others should simply stand at attention, men removing their hats. The same code also required that women should place their hands over their hearts when the flag is displayed during the playing of the national anthem, but not if the flag was not present.
….On December 23, 1942, the law was again revised …to stand at attention and face in the direction of the music when it was played…
…On July 7, 1976, the law was simplified. Men and women were instructed to stand with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats, irrespective of whether or not the flag was displayed and those in uniform saluting. ..
….Because of the changes in law over the years and confusion between instructions for the Pledge of Allegiance versus the National Anthem, throughout most of the 20th century many people simply stood at attention and they would hold their hand (or hat) over their heart.
****After 9/11, the custom of placing the hand over the heart during the playing of the national anthem became nearly universal. (Wikipedia)
Peer pressure and the concern about NOT looking like a person who doesn’t stand with some worthy goal, people sometimes became more hesitant. Even people in leadership positions felt that they, too, had to made some kind of statement of “unity” with those who opposed respectfully standing. As leaders, who love our country, one would think that they would believe that HONOR and RESPECT was important.
This is the reason that I am writing this post to also honor the young man, Jonathan Isaac, who was willing to be his own person and to show his appreciation for his country. Standing alone for, especially for a young person, is not an easy matter.
Mike Bianchi wrote in the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper the following about Isaac:
“Jonathan Isaac certainly shouldn’t be vilified. He has nothing to apologize for, and doesn’t have to “knee” to show he cares about human kind. He won the Magic’s Community Service Award last year.”
Bianchi sent on to explain what Isaac is doing with his wealth and commitment to his Savior, Jesus Christ. He lists a few of this activities as feeding underprivileged children; raising money to fight for literacy; relief in the Bahamas and taking students to the African Art Gallery to learn about African American history.
Jonathan Isaac also made a statement to the press: “We are all sinners and the answers to all the world’s problems, not just racism, is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
May Jonathan be blessed with many years of serving humanity and his country in whatever way he will be lead in the future. With his faith and belief in America and his fellow countrymen and women, we will most likely hear more about him in the future.
Jonathan, you are NOT STANDING ALONE. There are many who happily stand with you.
Turn on your sound.
August 1, 2020 | Categories: Boyer Writes, Community, Encouragement, Inspirational, Leadership, Making a Difference | Tags: 9-11, alone, American flag, books by N.W.Boyer, community service, History, honor, Jonathan Isaac, law on anthem, Mike Bianchi, National Anthem, Orlando Magic, Orlando Sentinel Newspaper, patriotism, peer pressure, respect, stand for anthem, Star Spangled Banner, taking the knee, War of 1812 | Comments Off on Standing Alone