A man at a Montana county fair was arrested last weekend for an assault on a child after slamming him to the ground after the minor did not remove his hat for the playing of the national anthem.
Curt James Brockway, 39, was detained and held on a $100,000 bail for his actions at the Mineral County Fair last Saturday, USA Today reported. Brockway reportedly slammed the 13-year-old boy to the ground at the fair due to his failure to properly show respect when the Star-Spangled Banner started to play.
According to witnesses, there wasn’t any indication that the boy was protesting the anthem or showing any other form of disrespect.
The action was apparently violent enough to render noticeable and painful injuries. Witnesses said the boy bled from the ears after the attack, and suffered a seizure on the ground. The parents of the child told local news media that the bleeding continued for six hours, lasting while they were airlifted and sent to a hospital in Spokane, Washington.
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Brockway allegedly told witnesses to the attack that he had “every right to do that,” referring to his attack on the 13-year-old.
U.S. Code dictates the conduct one should engage in when it comes to the playing of the national anthem. According to the rule, those who are not active U.S. military or former members of the armed forces:
“should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.”
The word “should,” however, does not make this a requirement, punishable by any law or statute elsewhere. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment would supersede such a law, as it affords political speech protections toward any individual, including speech directed toward the flag or during the national anthem.