Donald Trump and his underlings have waged open warfare on the free speech rights of black people for over a month now in the guise of protecting the national anthem and the American flag from a form of “disrespect” that is actually an exercise of everything that flag stands for.
But for at least a second time now, Trump and his fans have actually disrespected the flag for no better reason than ignorance and apathy.
On Wednesday evening, Donald Trump taped an interview with Sean Hannity at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's Air National Guard base. During the taping, the daily “Retreat ceremony” began.
For those unfamiliar with the ceremony, the flag is lowered as the bugle plays “Retreat,” followed by “To the Colors,” and as even every kid who's ever been to summer camp knows, there is a certain standard of behavior that is expected:
The community grows silent and turns toward the flagpole to watch the American flag slowly lower, placing a proud hand over their heart or rendering a salute.
This ceremony is one of the oldest traditions in the U.S. Army, which dates back to the Revolutionary War. At that time, however, drums sounded it — the normal musical instrument found in infantry units of that period. The bugle was used during this time solely as a signal instrument.
By the end of the Civil War, the infantry, cavalry and artillery were sounding bugle calls during “Retreat,” where it remains in tradition today.
The ceremony serves two purposes — to signal the end of the duty day and pay respect to the nation's flag.
Once the bugle sounds, all personnel driving on the installation should stop. Service members and government civilian personnel are encouraged to turn off their vehicles, and, if safe to do so, exit to render the appropriate honors.
Individuals outside of buildings will also render the appropriate honors to the flag during the ceremony.
Instead, Trump and Hannity took the opportunity to joke about Hannity's ratings, and as Shareblue's Oliver Willis flagged, the crowd just laughed it up:
TRUMP: What a nice sound that is. Are they playing that for you or for me? They're playing that in honor of his ratings. Did you see how good his ratings are? He's beating everybody.
HANNITY: I think they'll be higher tonight. I'm just guessing.
It will be fascinating to see if anyone asks Sarah Huckabee Sanders about this act of disrespect and whether or not Sanders thinks this is a “fireable offense.”
Watch Trump's fans disrespect the flag during an August rally below.