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Sporting stars’ knee gesture is wrong– its meaning has been totally lost

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The friendly handshake was originally an open palm showing you were unarmed. The fascist straight-arm salute was copied from Ancient Rome’s “Hail Caesar!” The Communist clenched fist is also a feminist symbol but it’s the librarians’ emblem when combined with an open book; complicated.

“Taking the knee” began when Afro-American footballer Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner and kneeled in protest against racial inequality. It has since been adopted by Premier League footballers to support Black Lives Matter.

Insulting the national anthem matters in America, where school children every morning pledge their allegiance to the flag. For a nation mainly of immigrants and their descendants, respect for the symbols of nationhood is important.

I was once on the golf course at the American air base in Ramstein, Germany, when “Taps” was played by the bugler for the flag-lowering at sunset. Everyone stood to attention, players holding golf caps over their hearts.

Kaepernick’s gesture was a calculated insult to a country that has been our........

© Eastern Daily Press