Navy Sailor Won’t Salute the American Flag

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A Navy sailor named Janaye Ervin faces possible prosecution following her refusal to salute the flag during a recent ceremony at Pearl Harbor. Ervin, ranked as Petty Officer 2nd Class, explained her actions in a Facebook post that she has since deleted.

“I feel like a hypocrite singing about the ‘land of the free’ when I know that only applies to some Americans,” she wrote. “I will gladly stand again when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom.”

Joel Cesar, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said it would be up to Ervin’s commander to determine what punishment she faces, if any. Ervin has said she was threatened with imprisonment for her protest. Navy protocol requires sailors to stand and salute the flag during the national anthem; by declining to follow this protocol, Ervin put herself in danger of prosecution. Even if she was not specifically instructed to stand, she could still be found guilty of disobeying orders, an infraction the military does not look upon kindly.

“The Navy has decided to punish me for defending the Constitution and has taken away my equipment I need to do my Naval job,” complained Ervin in her FB post. “It was my pleasure serving my country, I love it dearly, that is why I must do this for you. I will keep you all posted on what happens next!”

Ervin’s protest attracted the attention of the New York Daily News’ Shaun King, a prominent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. King reached out to his Twitter followers on Monday, asking them to sign a petition to keep Ervin from facing punishment.

“We are standing with her during this time & needs your help if possible to not allow her go to jail along with receiving a dishonorable discharge. Intervene, if you will,” King wrote. “She loves her country. On the other hand, she is a black woman who has to constantly see what her people go through in her country while she is in uniform.”

Actually, she’s a fool and so is anyone who signs that petition.

Free speech is not at issue here. The First Amendment doesn’t apply to our soldiers and sailors. The U.S. military is, in a strange way, almost like another country. They have a separate legal system and a separate set of laws. Whatever defenses people have come up with in the case of Colin Kaepernick do not apply to Janaye Ervin.

Unfortunately, those divisions have started to blur. The evils of modern “social justice” are creeping into the military, weakening our entire armed forces day by day. Ervin deserves a dishonorable discharge, if only to send a message that the military will not tolerate this kind of disorder. Imagine if this trend were to spread. Imagine if our troops felt they could do whatever they wanted as long as they could come up with a socially acceptable cause to rally around. Imagine if that cause was built around the abject fiction that is modern black oppression.

These are the problems that manifest when a nation lacks the will to nip a destructive movement in the bud early on. Let’s stop giving credence to outrageous nonsense and maybe we can prevent the disaster that looms before us.