by John Hawkins | July 27, 2012 12:01 am
“This flag dips for no earthly king.” – American shotputter Ralph Rose
At the 1936 Olympics, the: American Olympic team stood up to Hitler.
Over 5,000 athletes from 51 nations then marched in according to alphabetical order, with Greece leading the whole parade and the host country, Germany, at the end. But even the opening ceremony was not without controversy — the question being whether athletes would give the Nazi salute to Hitler as they passed by his reviewing stand. There was some confusion over this issue, since the Olympic salute with right arm held out sideways from the shoulder could also be mistaken for the Hitler stiff-arm salute. Most countries gave either one or the other. Austrian athletes gave the Hitler salute. French athletes thrilled the German audience by giving the Hitler salute, although some French athletes later claimed it was the Olympic salute. The Bulgarians outdid everyone by goose-stepping past the FÃ¼hrer. The British and Americans chose a military style ‘eyes right’ with no arm salute.
The flag bearer of every nation was supposed to dip their country’s flag while passing by the FÃ¼hrer and the Olympic officials. The American flag bearer upset many Germans in the audience by ignoring this, adhering to the U.S. custom of only dipping to the President of the United States and no one else.
Since then, Americans have never dipped their flags. But of course, this is the Obama era, where our own President bows like a servant to foreign dictators and: our Olympic team may follow his disgraceful lead.
The United States may break with a controversial tradition and dip its flag to Britain’s leaders at the opening ceremony for the London Olympics, U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Scott Blackmun said on Thursday.
“We’ve talked about that a little bit and you never know what is going to happen,” said Blackmun.
“We have traditions, Britain has traditions, everybody has traditions but we’re still talking internally but it is not an issue we see as a big issue.”
It may not be a big issue for the USOC but it is one that stirs the emotions of many Americans.
Americans don’t bow and we don’t disrespect the flag. This is a patriotic tradition and let’s hope that these athletes don’t disgrace themselves and their country by dipping our flag.
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