Ever since San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick made waves by refusing to stand for the national anthem, a photo that first circulated in 2009 has generated a renewed interest.
The photo, which depicts several lawmakers remaining seated while their colleagues stand and place their hands over their hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, was actually taken seven years ago in Albany, New York.
In 2009, Republicans wrested away control of the state Senate by convincing two Democrats to defect. According to Snopes, the Democrats left the chamber and turned out the lights in protest.
The protest continued when Democrats remained seated as Republicans attempted to begin a session with the Pledge of Allegiance. Those who tried to stand were pulled back down by their colleagues.
During a 2013 session of the New Jersey Senate, the chairman made a similar protest when a debate regarding gun control got out of hand:
Many Americans agree that standing for the Pledge of Allegiance — or the national anthem — shouldn't necessarily be a compulsion:
But some noted that it wasn't about compulsion - just respect:
Although the circulating meme does not show federal legislators refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, similar protests have been made — recently — in Washington.
The Daily Beast reported that during the House's recent gun violence “sit-in” led by Georgia Democrat John Lewis, the speaker pro tempore (Texas representative Ted Poe) made several attempts to get the protesters to their feet.
Poe began with invoking a prayer, and when they remained seated, he tried to bring them to order with the Pledge of Allegiance — during which they still refused to stand.
As for Kaepernick, his resolve will be tested at Thursday night's game in San Diego. The Chargers will be hosting their annual Tribute to the Military, and the whole stadium is likely to be doused in red, white, and blue.