Trump remains seated, talks and jokes during military flag ceremony

President Trump’s ire over disrespecting the American flag may not extend to himself.

The President on Wednesday remained seated and talked while “Retreat” and “To the Colors” were played at an Air National Guard hangar in Middletown, Pa.

“What a nice sound that is,” Trump told Fox NewsSean Hannity as he watched the crowd stand.

Trump appeared to have no knowledge of the significance of the songs, even joking with Hannity that they were being played in his honor.

“Are they playing that for you or for me?” Trump quipped. “They’re playing that in honor of his ratings. He’s beating everybody.”

Twice a day, as the American flag is raised and lowered on U.S. military bases and other installations, a bugle plays “Retreat.” It is tradition for both service members and civilians to pay their respects to the flag during the ceremony.

Playing the song is used “to signal the end of the duty day and pay respect to the nation’s flag,” according to the Army website.

Trump, who as President is the highest ranking official in the U.S. military, has spent weeks criticizing NFL players who kneel during the “Star-Spangled Banner,” calling the form of silent protest disrespectful to the flag and anthem.

Players began the demonstrations to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police.

Anyone who has served in the armed forces or spent time at a military installation would be familiar with the somber ceremony that Trump joked and laughed over on Wednesday.

Uniformed service members located outside of a building are required to stop and salute the flag, while civilians are required to place their hand over their heart, according to the website Task & Purpose.

It is “one of the oldest traditions in the Army, which dates back to the Revolutionary War,” according to the U.S. Army website.

During the Vietnam War, Trump received four draft deferments for being a college student.

He also got a fifth deferment for bone spurs in his heels.

He called the condition “temporary” in an interview last year.



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