Old Glory is almost certainly the most honored flag in the world.
The late political scientist Samuel Huntington marveled at its place in our national life: We pledge allegiance to it. The national anthem celebrates it. An incredibly elaborate code stipulates how it’s displayed, handled and maintained. It even has its own holiday.
“Since the Civil War,” Huntington wrote, “Americans have been a flag-oriented people. The Stars and Stripes has the status of a religious icon and is a more central symbol of national identity for Americans than their flags are for peoples of other nations.”
The NFL players who kneel during the national anthem — a phenomenon that increased exponentially after President Trump colorfully demanded they stand — are disrespecting the most potent and enduring national symbol of the most patriotic nation on earth.