The heat against Democratic Connecticut councilwoman, Melissa Schlag, continued as residents, including veterans, have heavily criticized her for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Schlag said she will continue to kneel during the Pledge until President Donald Trump is no longer in office.
“I will kneel for all the people, regardless of party affiliation, and continue to fight for their rights,” Schlag said. “This is not the America I grew up in or the country we should be, but I will work every day to get us back to that place.”
During subsequent public meetings, residents have let Schlag know just how they feel about her actions. An African-American veteran told her to protest on her own time since she is elected to represent the town’s residents:
HAPPENING NOW:1st #Amendment vigil in Haddam in support of free speech following backlash against several local officials who’ve been taking a #knee during the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Follow the story on @FOX61News @ 5pm pic.twitter.com/2qiiJYhLtn
— Nia Hamm (@niahammTV) July 30, 2018
A Vietnam veteran, Calvin Bunnell, told Schlag that if she was that unhappy with the United States, then he will help pack her bags.
“As it says on my shirt, if you don’t like the flag, I’ll help you pack your bags and get the heck out of here,” Bunnell said.
Not all veterans feel the same way. During the same public hearing, another Vietnam veteran spoke up in defense of Schlag:
Public comments at a Board of Selectman meeting in #Haddam surrounding controversy of Selectwoman Melissa Schlag #kneeling during the pledge of allegiance in Protest of President Trump’s policies. This veteran says he’s opposed to her actions. pic.twitter.com/twR4QvSjCp
— Nia Hamm (@niahammTV) July 31, 2018
“I have the utmost respect for our service members, and I have also served my country in many ways; I believe serving your country and being a patriot does not automatically mean carrying a gun overseas,” Schlag wrote in a Facebook post. “Patriotism comes in many forms.”