Second Navy sailor disciplined for anthem protest
I served this great country in the US NAVY and fought for peoples free speech...protest is as American as it gets! #Vetransforkaepernick— Sovereign Apocalypse (@SovereignApoc) August 31, 2016
Janaye Ervin has served in the military since 2008 but felt she could no longer stand for the national anthem following a series of instances of police brutality against black Americans.
“I feel like a hypocrite singing about ‘land of the free’ when I know that only applies to some Americans,” she explained in a Facebook post that has since been removed. “I will gladly stand again, when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom.”
On Monday, in uniform, Janaye Ervin made the decision to not stand for the Star Spangled Banner.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 21, 2016
Here is her official statement. pic.twitter.com/i4PxNFziR1
Since staging her protest, the active duty sailor says she has had her security clearance revoked and was threatened with jail time.
@KazmierskiR she needs to be discharged from service— DeplorableTacia (@NewportLost) September 26, 2016
@KazmierskiR as a military personnel if you don't stand for the flag then you are denouncing America— ERimback (@ERimback) September 26, 2016
Ervin is the second sailor to take part in the growing anti-anthem movement. An unnamed sailor in Florida was shown sitting during the anthem with her fist held up in a nod to the ‘black power’ salute.
“Until this country shows that they've got my back as a black woman, that they've got my people's back — not even just being black but people of color — I can't. And I won't," she explained.
I support #Janaye Ervin! And her 1st Amendment right to peacefully protest! It is not effecting her job.— squirrelygirl (@squirrelygirl) September 26, 2016
Active members of the military are restricted by rules which govern their conduct. It is technically illegal for Navy members to protest this way, according to Navy Regulation 1205, which requires personnel to stand and salute the flag, or place their hand over their heart during the national anthem. Breaching this is classed as a serious offense and is punishable under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Pretty funny that Navy Petty Officer thought she could protest the National Anthem. You would think an NCO would know we can't do that lol— Gus (@AugustusS21) September 24, 2016
The Navy has responded to the two acts of protest by publishing new guidelines which remind members of the above regulations, and feature restrictions on social media etiquette.
“Sailors will receive training on the appropriate usage of social media and must not use it to discredit the Naval Service, and should be reminded it could potentially be used as evidence against them,” it warns.
“While military personnel are not excluded from the protections granted by the First Amendment, the US Supreme Court has stated that the different character of our community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections."