United we must stand

Flags still soaring as they pass the Capital building. The American pride cannot be taken away. Photo by Grace King.

By Grace King, The Circuit.

Flag burning, trashing cities and holding vulgar signs has become more common in society. Recent history would lead us to believe, that is what a lot of people think will help them get what they desire.

Despite these current times of protest, all Americans must make sure the country stays united as one.

The Bill of Rights gives individual liberties that cannot be taken away. They are granted to all peoples despite race, religion, ethnicity, etc.

“The beauty of living in America is we have this idea of individual liberties— to pursue our lives as long as we are not hurting anyone else,” said Garrett Kapelski, sophomore political science major.

How do we understand our vision for America and what it means to be American? Kapelski questioned. “By understanding the Constitution and what our country was founded on.”

Protestors advocate for the message of love over hate. Sometimes those messages may be seen as contradictory.

Jared Nigrin, Newman Hall Resident Assistant passionately opposes flag burning.

“When you are burning the flag you are saying that you are so fundamentally more important than America,” said Nigrin. “By burning the flag you are saying that all the men and women’s sacrifice wasn’t important. Is flag burning protected speech? Yes. Should it be tolerated? Absolutely not.”

There comes a time when Americans have to decide if they dislike their president more than they love their country. Protesting against the president has always been common and it is protected under the Bill of Rights, but when protesting turns into flag burning and trashing cities— that is when it is not respecting or caring for our great nation.

The Bill of Rights allows many individual freedoms for Americans and it can be controversial whether or not burning the flag is one of them.

The fact that it is constitutional to burn the flag is a very distasteful fact. I think people have the right to burn the flag, Kapelski said. “It’s protected by the First Amendment. I don’t like it. I won’t ever do it, but it’s a powerful way to convey a message that something is wrong and that something needs to change.”

Kapelski says people are burning the flag to show their distaste for the president or whoever is in office, they are not doing it because they hate America.

It is not an effective way to protest by destroying stuff and damaging other people’s property, Kapelski said.

If these violent and vicious protests proceed, there is no telling what could happen for the country’s future.

Nigrin says if we don’t become united, we become a society that only cares about what we as individuals want and America will become a divided state of anarchy.

“Stop before you go too far,” Nigrin said.