Some have compared the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to someone who burns the American flag. Both may hold up in court, but it has become just as divisive and offensive either way.
The word 'respect' has been used repeatedly in recent days, but not everyone can say they respect the U.S. flag 100 percent of the time.
The NFL is notorious for another blatant violation of the flag code -- holding the flag flat or horizontally. But Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis says many of us do it each July whether we know it or not.
“You have bathing suits, you have paper napkins and plates, and by the strictest rule of the flag code those things should be banned,” he says. “But people don't buy patriotic plates for the Fourth of July to be unpatriotic.”
“Even though you're eating on a paper plate with an American flag and you know it's going to go in the trash, you know the napkin is going to go in the trash can eventually, but you're buying it for patriotic reasons, your using it for a patriotic reason.”
That's the difference between celebrating our Independence Day and what we've seen from the Cowboys' Dez Bryant and other players. “That was a clear shot at Trump, sitting on our knee like that,” Bryant said after Monday night's game.
While it may not be illegal to kneel during the anthem, many veterans still feel it was a slap in the face to those who served in wars to protect that right.
“Anything else against the national anthem is against the country, it's not against the president,” says Bob Harvey is with the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Houston-Galveston. “Every president is going to be different, some are better than others, but we need to work with it.”
“The majority of people who kneel, do they really know what it is to fight for your country?” he asks. “A lot of people do a lot of talking, but not too many people stand up for action.”