Let’s mix ourselves up some Dumb American News Story Stew, shall we? Ingredient No. 1 is the Trump-led demagoguery campaign against the NFL players who have been protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Ingredient No. 2 is Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, the provocateur who carries a gun during campaign events and thinks there are cities in Illinois that operate under Sharia law. Let’s see if these two great tastes taste great together:
In an interview with TIME magazine, the Alabama Republican argued that NFL players and others who have protested police violence are violating a section of the U.S. code which outlines how people should conduct themselves when the anthem is played. … “It’s against the law, you know that?” he said. “It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.”
The protests against racial injustice are thus an attack on “the rule of law,” explains Moore.
For the record, Moore is referring to a real section of U.S. code:
There’s a big caveat, though, which is that the code says that standing for the anthem is what people “should” do rather than what they must do; it also doesn’t delineate penalties against those who don’t stand. In the words of the Congressional Research Service, U.S. courts have “concluded that the Flag Code does not proscribe conduct, but is merely declaratory and advisory.” In short, Moore—a hyperconservative former judge who was removed from office twice for refusing to abide by relatively liberal rulings made by higher courts—appears to be once again confusing what he wishes the law said with what it actually says. Delicious!