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The internet has been ablaze over U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas neglecting to place her hand on her heart during the U.S. National Anthem at an medal ceremony in Rio. The three time Olympic gold medalist stood at attention, claiming that was her choice as a way to show respect to the flag.
Douglas was heavily criticized for her choice to abandon flag protocol during the National Anthem.
Douglas responded in a statement to her Twitter account.
“First I want to say thank you everyone for all of your support. It’s a huge honor for me to be able to represent #TeamUSA. In response to a few tweets I saw tonight, I always stand at attention out of respect for our country whenever the national anthem is played. I never meant any disrespect and apologize if I offended anyone. I’m so overwhelmed by what our team accomplished today and overjoyed that we were able to bring home another gold for our country!”
Barack Obama made news in 2008 while running for president when he did not follow the Flag Code in placing his hand over his heart. He later explained to reporters his grandfather instructed him to place his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance, but “during the Star Spangled Banner, you sing!”
While I believe Obama intended disrespect for the flag, I am not so sure with Gabby Douglas. She may not have realized it would be a big deal. She may not have been taught the proper etiquette. Or, I suppose it is possible, she had a less than innocent intention and was making a political statement.
The fact is, we don't know. She made the choice. I would have rather her placed her hand on her heart during the playing of the National Anthem, but in the end only Gabby knows the intent behind her failure to do so. Congratulations for being a champion at the Olympics. Proper respect to the flag would be appreciated in the future.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary