Recently, in Valdosta, Georgia on the campus of Valdosta State University there has been protest over the American flag. Eric Sheppard, which is known as a terrorist or activist for the Black Panther party, has especially been in the news for this. Eric Sheppard who proudly stepped all over an American flag said, “The meaning for the stepping on the flag was that flag represents white supremacy and racism which is plaguing the entire earth. So when we step on that flag we are stepping on racism and white supremacy, we are stepping on those things."
Eric Sheppard is wanted by law enforcement due to the fact he brought a gun in his backpack on the college campus during these protests. He is on the run and has yet to be captured. This has lead to many people across the country participating in what is called the “Eric Sheppard Challenge" in which an individual records themselves stomping all over the American flag and then posting it on social media. The day of the protest Eric Sheppard was recorded saying, “I indeed am a terrorist. I am a terrorist towards lies. I am a terrorist towards white people."
I am not sorry to be the one that says this, but you, Mr. Sheppard are not a terrorist, nor are an activist for any kind of rights. You are just a coward. You stepping on that flag (or any other participants in the Eric Sheppard challenge), are not stepping on the American flag due to racism or white supremacy, you are stepping on that flag because of ignorance.
That flag you are stepping on symbolizes America, land of the free and home of the brave. We live in the greatest place in the world. We live in a place where you can freely form any opinions or say anything you want to say with hardly any consequences. If you despise our country so strongly that you feel the need to step on the very piece of fabric that gives you the freedom to do as you want, then leave. I am sure you would come rushing back after a short time spent in a place like North Korea or Cuba, where you have no rights.
Our American flag represents a lot more than any words can explain. Our American flag represents the life of so many soldiers, sailors, and other military personnel that so bravely left their homes and loved ones to fight for this country. They fought and gave their lives for people to be able to freely say what they want and step on the American flag if their ignorant heart so desired. Maybe it is hard to understand for you but ask a person that has had a loved one never come home, or ask the widow that has been handed a folded up flag at her husband's funeral. That flag that represents racism and white supremacy to you, is the last thing some family members have of their loved ones. That flag to them represents the sacrifices that have been made, the danger they have put themselves through, and yet if you asked any person who has served, they would not take it back for anything.
In the wise words of Lee Greenwood, “I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me."
Fly that flag high and thank a veteran for the ability to fly that flag.