Trump Disrespected the Flag & the Military During Hannity Interview

Trump Disrespected the Flag & the Military During Hannity Interview

Demonstrating his ongoing attacks on black athletes silently protesting racial injustice during the national anthem are nothing more than a racism-based distraction, Donald Trump not only failed to stand during the “Retreat” bugle Wednesday night, but talked and joked through it. He actually went so far as to ask if the ceremony – a tradition honoring soldiers and veterans – was for him or Hannity.

The flub occurred during his Fox News interview with Sean Hannity at the Harrisburg Air National Guard base.

As the ceremony began, Trump commented, “What a nice sound that is. Are they playing that for you or for me? They’re playing that in honor of his ratings. Did you see how good his ratings are? He’s beating everybody.”

Offering insight into the significance of the ceremony, Fort Leonard Wood area outlet Missouri Network wrote:

By custom, when on a military reservation,  uniformed military personnel should stand at attention and face the American flag, or the direction of the music if a flag is not visible. Civilians should stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart. All vehicles on military installations should come to a complete stop and wait until the last note of the music stops according to official guidance.

The U.S. Army website adds more context on the solemnity and importance of “Retreat”:

Reveille is played at 6:30 a.m. and Retreat is conducted at 5 p.m. each day on Fort Leonard Wood. While every service member knows that the military has specific protocols to follow during reveille and retreat, the civilian population may be unaware of such rules.

“Those in uniform are required to stop what they are doing, face the flag — or music if they cannot see the flag — and render the hand salute during these ceremonies,” Hayes said. “Those not in uniform, and civilians, should stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart. Anyone in a moving vehicle should pull off the road — (and) if they can safely do so, dismount their vehicle and perform the same actions listed above.”

Due to a 2007 act of Congress, veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can also render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag.

Retreat and reveille have long played a part in the Army’s daily life.

Which is to say, anyone who actually knows and stands by the military understands what the end of the day ceremony bugle ceremony entails and means.

They added:

Today, reveille and retreat ceremonies serve a twofold purpose. They signal the beginning and ending of the official duty day and serve as ceremonies for paying respect to the flag and those who serve it, according the Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Lyle, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard.

“Everyone needs to pay their respect during these ceremonies,” Hayes said, “because although everyone does not serve under the flag, everyone enjoys the rights and liberty it stands for.

“It should remind us that the present and future of our Army is linked to our past,” Hayes continued. “By keeping alive the customs and traditions of our past, we are also keeping alive the legacy of those who have fought, sacrificed, bled and died to build our military into the most formidable Army in the world. These customs and traditions give us a sense of who we are as a fighting force.”

Compare that to Trump attacking NFL players for silently kneeling during the anthem before a football game – and then sending his Vice President to protest those players at the same time as a political maneuver.

It should be clear who actually respects the flag and the freedoms it stands for (including free speech, expression, and free press) and who is using it to wage a race-based culture war.

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Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he's worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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