National Anthem Protesting May Be Outlawed In This City

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Athletes and veterans stand for the national anthemAthletes and veterans stand for the national anthem

As more and more athletes join 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest against the national anthem, what was once a one man demonstration is starting to look like a full-blown movement. And, for veterans like Jim Balcer, he's not going to take it any more. 

A veteran and a retired alderman, Balcer believes that the flag deserves more respect than it has had in the last couple of weeks. That's why he is submitting a proposal to his home city of Chicago that would make it illegal to kneel or sit during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. 

"I may be retired as an alderman but I’m not retired as a Marine and as a Vietnam veteran and that means an awful lot to me, the flag does," he told Fox News. 

The ordinance would require all active and retired military members to stand at attention and salute during the anthem, according to DNAinfo. Regular citizens will have to stand with their hands over their hearts, face the flag and remove their hats. There was no mention of penalties if somebody did not adhere to these rules.

"My mother, who served in World War II, the American flag covered her casket. It covered my father-in-law’s casket, who served with Bob Dole in the 10th Mountain Division," said Balcer to Fox News.

While he conceded that it's illegal to force somebody to stand during the anthem, he believes that his proposal would be a sign to the nation that the city of Chicago respects America's veterans and what the flag stands for.

The move comes after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew headlines and backlash when he announced he would no longer stand during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and minority oppression.

"The flag is a symbol of our nation," Balcer told Fox. "Men and women have fought and died for this country. This is a great country. People do not fight to leave it, they fight to get into this country and I think what Mr. Kaepernick is doing is absolutely wrong."

The proposal, which was written by Balcer, was formally submitted to City Council by current Alderman Edward Burke, according to DNAinfo. It is unclear if it will receive a hearing or become law.  

Sources: Fox News, DNAinfo / Photo credit: Georgia National Guard/Flickr

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