|The Barnett sisters|
But he's wrong.
We are a nation of laws, and those laws have evolved over many years, sparked by people more courageous than Donald Trump, finessed by legislators more diligent than Donald Trump, and weighed by judges far smarter than Donald Trump.
Take the NFL protest. The key to that situation is found, not in the president's latest tweet but in the actions of a pair of schoolgirls during World War II.
Marie and Gathie Barnett were 8 and 9 years old. They attended a four-room schoolhouse in Charleston, West Virginia. The sisters were Jehovah's Witnesses. So when it came time to salute the flag, they refused, since their faith considered that akin to worship of a graven image. This had become an issue in the 1930s as American states, catching the nationalism bug contorting Europe, began mandating that schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The school expelled the girls. According to a 1941 West Virginia law, their parents faced 30 days in jail and a $50 fine for raising children who refused to salute the flag.
Their father, Walter, sued, citing Exodus 20:4: "Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image."
The Barnetts won in state court, a judge observing, "tyrannies of majorities over the rights of individuals or helpless minorities has always been recognized as one of the great dangers of popular government."
The school board appealed. The case found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court ....
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