Fans Gather To Burn Patriots Gear, Don’t Know They’re Violating United States Flag Code

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(Photo: Getty Images)

More New England Patriots fans have expressed their anger over players’ protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

This time, a group did what, unfortunately, many white people have done throughout American history in reaction to African-Americans’ exercising the rights bestowed to them as American citizens: light stuff on fire.

Patriots fans gathered in Swansea, Massachusetts, to let the team know they care more about people’s kneeling during a song than they do about the actual cause players are trying to shed light on. They did so by burning Patriots gear.

When some Patriots players knelt during the national anthem on Sunday, several fans on hand booed.

There’s no law against kneeling during the national anthem.

If there was, it’d be found in Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code, which establishes rules for the display and care of the American flag.

Unfortunately for our geniuses in Swansea, their show of “patriotism” violated several laws outlined in the code, which is almost never enforced.

For instance, Section 8 of the chapter indicates, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.”

Which is exactly what this idiot is doing.

And this idiot.

And these idiots.

And this idiot.

These idiots, too.

Section 8 also notes the flag “should not be … printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”

You mean like, say, balloons?

Am I being pedantic? Extremely. But these individuals claim to be demonstrating in the name of the sanctity of the flag. That they so fervently defend it without knowing the actual rules of “respecting the flag” displays the hypocrisy of their self-identifying as patriots.

Patriotism is devotion to one’s country and the people in it. To place respect for a symbol of America above respect for actual Americans isn’t patriotism, it’s nationalism.

To modify an argument often used by those who oppose NFL players’ protests: If these fans don’t like what the Patriots are doing, they should create their own football team: the New England Nationalists.