Here’s a way to turn a negative into a positive. Not standing during the National Anthem is essentially a negative thing, a protest easily misinterpreted as rejecting all sorts of things people hold sacred. Instead, how about expressing a message symbolically? One way would be to hold both hands over your heart, a sign of hope for inclusion. This way, the two hands would stand for equality. You could think of this justice gesture as standing for black and white, or male and female, or straight and gay. But since categories get complicated, you could just think of it this way:
Two hands = and. As in everybody.
You likely know the background: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked all sorts of contentious debate by refusing to stand during the National Anthem. As he explained during a news conference, he was protesting racial injustice. “This country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all, and it’s not happening for all right now,” he told reporters. He also clearly stated, “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country.” But many people were greatly offended, arguing he had insulted military men and women, as well as police, for starters. Race-car driver Tony Stewart called him an “idiot,” and coach Jim Harbaugh said he didn’t respect his former quarterback’s actions. Donald Trump declared that Kaepernick should “find another country.”
“He can speak out about a very important issue,” commented quarterback Drew Brees. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.”
So here’s one. Instead of one hand over the heart during the National Anthem, put both. It shows respect, while expressing a hopeful message in a visually memorable way.
Another feel-good idea: Homeland Heroes Day.