Every Ole Miss fan needs to respect the National Anthem

Posted on Sep 20 2016 - 8:01am by Elizabeth Romary

I noticed something this past Saturday that made me angry and upset. I could not seem to wrap my head around it.

For weeks now on the news and social media, we have heard stories about the “disrespect” toward the national anthem from those who choose to take a knee instead of stand, to raise a closed fist into the air, instead of placing their hands over their hearts.

However, on Saturday, I witnessed actual disrespect toward the anthem and the flag. During the singing of the anthem (I would also like to point out that it was being sung by a member of the military) I did not hear the stadium fall quiet as everyone turned their attention to the flag and placed their hands over their hearts.

What I heard instead was a plethora of rude language, un-paused conversations and the screaming of slurs I do not think I am allowed to write down. This went on throughout almost the entirety of the anthem until everyone stopped to all rowdily sing together “For the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

I understand that people were getting caught up in the excitement of the game, and I also understand that they were exercising their right of free speech. I am all for the first amendment. But freedom of speech is not the freedom of hypocrisy.

What is sad to me is that many of the people who blatantly disrespected the time of the flag and the anthem like this are the ones who call out anthem protesters for being disrespectful.

They are also the ones who claim to love this country so much. They are the ones who claim they understand the full weight and meaning behind it.

They are the ones who cannot fathom someone sitting, taking a knee or doing anything that deviates from standing to attention with a hand over the heart.

And yet, to me, they are being so much more disrespectful toward the flag, anthem, military service members and this country than any protesters ever will be.

Here is what I want to say to the people in the stadium with me, the ones shouting slurs and curses, the ones who would not give a minute of their time for silence and respect: If you are going to expel so much energy on chastising someone for not respecting our national anthem, follow your own words and respect it as well.

Stand to attention, acknowledge the flag and listen to the music (or do not; just give respectful silence). Just stop being hypocrites.

Elizabeth Romary is a senior international studies major from Greenville, North Carolina.