Turning your back on flag same as turning your back on America

By Taylor Lipps 2004

The possibility of war has been on the minds of many Americans over the past month as our president has made his intentions of disarming Iraq clear. Many have protested against the decision. No one, however, has gained more attention than a small community college women’s basketball player who has decided to turn her back on the flag to protest the impending war.

“For some time now, the inequalities that are embedded into the American system have bothered me. As they are becoming progressively worse and it is clear that the government’s priorities are not bettering the quality of life for all its people, but rather on expanding its own power, I can no longer, in good conscience, salute the flag.”

This is the logic behind Manhattanville women’s basketball player Tone Smith. Many see this to be ridiculous, as do I.

“It is my right as an American to stand for my beliefs the way others have done against me,” Smith said. I think we are all in agreement that this country prides itself on the First Amendment and the freedoms it brings us, including the freedom to protest. This act goes beyond simply protesting war, however. Smith believes she is being patriotic in her stance by taking advantage of her First Amendment rights. How can she claim to be patriotic? Smith is turning her back on everything this country stand for. True, she does have the right to turn her back under our Constitution. But I believe that those freedoms were intended for those who love and support this country, not for someone who has turned her back on it.

In my opinion, Smith should be sent to a country whose government’s “priorities” are more in line with her own. Smith needs to look beyond the issue of war and realize how much this country has given to her. Maybe if she spent a month in Iraq she would think twice the next time the “Star Spangled Banner” plays.

It is my stance that whether or not your agree with the government’s actions, we should all still support their decision. Many soldiers are overseas right now waiting for word from President Bush to invade. I’m sure there are some of them who are even against the war, but when they get the call, they will put forth all their effort into protecting our country. The least we could do is support them in this.

So to say that “the government’s priorities are not bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather in expanding its own power” is simply an outrage. We all should take offense to this statement.

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