A few months ago, we took Irvine Finance Commissioner Allan Bartlett to task over comments he made on Facebook regarding how the five city council members act during the playing of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. FlashReport publisher Jon Fleischman, in attendance at last night’s city council meeting, apparently is the same poor student of history that Bartlett is.
Fleischman posted a photo of the city council members that leads this post with the following text: If you need to know a key difference between Republicans and Democrats, I submit this photo as Exhibit A.
I took this photo while a harpist was playing a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem.
The Republicans are the three Councilmembers in the center. The Democrats are on the right and left.
Notice something different?
Fleischman’s post was shared 44 times and liked 66 times including by Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway. Fleischman was immediately challenged on this, as Facebook is not the echo chamber his blog or party meetings might be.
Tony Bedolla chimed in with this gem:
Jon. You’re equating patriotism to hand position. Wouldn’t that apply to those in the audience as well?
Some of us were taught (back in the 60’s) to put there hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance and put their hands at their sides during the National Anthem.
Does that help?
And Tony’s right. By snapping the photo, Fleischman isn’t displaying proper respect for the National Anthem. And as Tony is former military and Jon is not, I’ll go with what the military taught Tony any day.
The pettiness of local Republicans just astonishes me at times. And Fleischman will always place party over city, county, state or country first as he did during his years with the Sheriff’s Department under disgraced convicted felon Mike Carona. Fleischman always claimed “insider status” while collecting a county salary and pension. If Fleischman was aware of the stuff Carona was doing and kept his mouth shut about if for the good of the party, taxpayers paid the price for Fleischman’s silence.
Want to know the difference between Republicans and Democrats in OC Jon? Republicans go to jail. Like Mike Carona who collects a $200,000 pension annually while getting three hots and a cot in Federal Prison. Republicans like Mike Duvall resign from office when they brag about having sex with lobbyists. Republicans like Tan Nguyen go to jail for voter intimidation. If you want to say your party is more patriotic because they wear flag pins on their lapels or place their hand over their hearts for the national anthem. knock yourself out. Your party fought against marriage equality. Your party denies climate change is real. Your party engages in voter suppression. And you misrepresented the proposed bill to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented workers as some sort of anti-business bill when it’s not.
Fleischman, like Bartlett, must have gotten poor grades in American history and reading comprehension. So let’s do this again —
Etiquette towards our flag during the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem have evolved over many years. In 1998, it became protocol to place one’s right hand over the heart for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. In 2008, non-uniformed military could salute. There are entire generations of Americans who were taught that taught that simply standing at attention and facing the flag is more than enough respect for the flag and the anthem.
Fleischman challenged Bedolla to provide substance to his claim, so I did. Here it is:
United States Code, 36 U.S.C. § 301, states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Recently enacted law in 2008 allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.
However, this statutory suggestion does not have any penalty associated with violations. 36 U.S.C. § 301 Moreover, generations of students who were introduced to flag etiquette prior to its enactment in 1998 were taught that the hand over the heart gesture was exclusively for the Pledge of Allegiance which has had the statutory requirement for much longer.(4 U.S.C. § 4) This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to stand for or sing the national anthem..