Post by Sam Plusnet Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by Sam Plusnet
I know that ignorance of a law is not considered to be a valid excuse
for breaking it, but it would be foolish to expect a casual visitor to
the country to know - especially since it seems that a fair number of US
citizens are not aware of it.
Or to expect that an alien would show respect to a nation's emblem in
any way other than quietly respecting the non-aliens' ritual. (I had
"observing," but that's a near-contranym: watching vs. participating in.)
I was pondering on the difference between a visitor showing courtesy in
the face of (what is for them) an alien custom, and being aware that
they should act in accordance with a law - when they might not even
recognise the tune.
P.S. I note what people say about the use of "should" rather than
"shall", but would an aue opinion convince an over zealous policemen?
To the best of my knowledge, there has never been an arrest, or even
the threat of one, based on failure to observe those laws.
There have been many incidents reported about attempts to enforce the
laws. Most of them are by teachers who insist that students stand or
otherwise observe the law when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in
class. The teachers aren't basing the enforcement on legal grounds,
though. Kids have been kicked out of classes, but not arrested.
The most well-known incident in the US was Colin Kaepernick's kneeling
during the National Anthem at football games. This started a chain
reaction of other (professional) football players doing the same.
Kaepernick was never arrested or - as far as I know - even approached
by the police over this. He has lost his job and no other team has
been willing to sign him.
So, unless you come here and attend grade school functions or try out
for a professional football team you should be safe from police
attention if you ignore the law.
I do want you to know, though, that when we were in the UK in 1969 I
stood along with the rest of the people at the end of the movie, but
did not sing "God Save the Queen"...not out of disrespect, but out of
respect to anyone near enough to hear notes so wrongfully voiced.
That practice was mostly over by 1969, but still done at the London
theater we went to. Can't remember what the movie was, though.
Somewhere near Kensington Gardens, and my wife - seven months pregnant
at the time - wanted to go someone and just sit rather than pub crawl.
We also, on that trip, stood along with the crowd in a pub in Ireland
(ROI) at closing. Something was sung (with great gusto) but I'm not
sure what it was. Probably, "The Soldier's Song".
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida