Bryan Fischer is, as always, utterly clueless and hypocritical when it comes to Colin Kaepernick’s protest. He actually declares him to be a criminal because he’s violating the U.S. Flag Code, a law that is customary only and carries no civil or criminal penalties whatsoever.
Is Colin Kaepernick breaking the law by refusing to stand for the national anthem? Absolutely.
Will he get thrown in jail for it? No.
Will he get fined? That’s up to the NFL. Should he get fined? Of course. If they can insist that he respect a yellow flag, they can insist that he respect the American flag.
They insist that he respect a yellow flag? Wrong. They insist that he follow their rules and the team gets penalized if he breaks them. It happens many times in every NFL game. It has nothing remotely to do with “respecting” the little yellow handkerchief the referees throw to indicate a penalty.
There is no question that Kaepernick is violating federal law by kneeling or sitting rather than standing and placing his hand over his heart while the national anthem is played.
The prescription for “conduct during playing” of the national anthem is found in the U.S. Code. According to Wikipedia, the U.S. Code is “The Code of Laws of the United States of America is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States.” (Emphasis mine throughout unless otherwise noted.)
According to Merriam-Webster, a “statute” is “a law enacted by the legislative branch of a government.” So the directive for the observance of the national anthem is a law. It is a statute, which is another word for a law. It’s not a recommendation. It’s not just a nice idea, it’s the law.
According to 36 U.S. Code Section 301, the expressed declaration of Congress is clear and straightforward. After directions to members of the military – “individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note” – explicit directions are given to every other American:
“(A)ll 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.”
Yeah, “should.” Not must. And of course, there are lots of other things in the U.S. Flag Code. Has Bryan Fischer ever criticized someone wearing an American flag shirt, like, say, David Barton? Has he ever declared any of them to be criminals? That same code says that one shouldn’t use the flag on clothing either. Or on your car as a sticker or emblem. Anyone who has ever left their flag raised during “inclement weather” is also a criminal, by Fischer’s “reasoning.” I’ll give Fischer this — he’s consistent. Consistently moronic.