Kudos to Michael Gerson for another excellent commentary (Opinion, Sept. 26).

Gerson’s high intelligence, profound historical knowledge and solid common sense brought welcome order to the babel surrounding the protests by players, coaches and owners of the NFL. It is a piece everyone could profit from reading, above all the high school population. It could be especially helpful to the Rebels of South Albany High School in solving their vexing mascot problem.

As could be expected, the old knee jerk reaction from Vietnam War Days is also given voice again, namely “all Americans better stand and respect the flag and country! If not, leave it!” (Mailbag, Sept. 27). This is really saying that only my view counts, not yours; insist on yours and you’re outta here. We have seen how this attitude carried to its logical conclusion soon finds violent expression: If you don’t want to be my brother, I’ll bash your brains in. History shows that such slogans have a habit of morphing into repressive action.

Thank God we still have a free and independent Supreme Court that has ruled that even burning the flag is a constitutionally protected exercise of free speech. Moreover it guarantees the utterance of any other manner of speech, empty headed or totalitarian though it may be.

Franz Schneider

Albany (Sept. 28)

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