After being forced to stand, put my right hand over my chest, and declaring the Pledge of Alligiance all through my Elementry school years, I can completely relate to the strong sentiments expressed with in Simone's poem.
However, I argue that it is misguided. Many poeple righteously express their opinions in regards to the liberties and freedoms that are supposed to be given in the "Land of the Free"; however that shouldn't effect your decison when standing for the flag and honoring the many lives that were sacrificed to develop America and its ideals. Compared to second and third world countries, our society is a utopia of luxuries that they could never dream of despite all of america's many flaws. The symbolism of the flag should represent nothing more than the fight taken to gain the freedoms that we have today, though our practice of these freedoms is not perfect. A part of those freedoms, as stated in the first amendment, is the freedom of expression and speech. So go ahead and voice your opinion! Kneel during the National Anthem. The freedom given in this country allows us to do that, but dont mistake the flaws of the present to determine the true meaning of the flag or other american ideals. They are to honor the past. Voicing your opinion should be aimed to sloving the problems of society rather than denouncing there meaning as something it was never meant to represent.