An Army veteran clutched the American flag and knelt as President Trump’s motorcade drove by him Wednesday in Indianapolis -- just as Reuters photographer Jonathan Ernst snapped a photo that would soon go viral.
Marvin Boatright, wearing an American Legion hat, holding a folded flag and kneeling, said he intended for someone in the motorcade to notice him kneeling, The Hill reported.
“As a veteran, and as an African-American, we have already and we continue to serve for God and country,” the 60-year-old Boatright said. “But you can have a love of God and country and still be against social injustice. You don’t have to separate one from the other.”
Boatright said he believed Trump was wrong to criticize NFL players for kneeling or standing during the national anthem, The Hill reported.
“For the commander-in-chief to call our citizens ‘sons of a bitches’ was totally wrong and beneath the dignity of the office that he holds,” Boatright said.
“The kneeling was to bring dramatization to the disappointment that we have seen throughout our country as it relates to those who have been killed by our various police departments,” Boatright said.
On Sunday, dozens of NFL players sat or knelt during the national anthem following Trump’s comments. Last Friday, during a rally in Alabama, Trump said:“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
“We love this country,” Boatright said of him and fellow veterans. “We love this flag. But we also love life and liberty for all humanity.”