A new ordinance proposed by a former alderman would require all Chicagoans to stand at attention when the national anthem is played, a clear response to the recent protests by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes.
Former Ald. James Balcer submitted the measure at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. According to the ordinance, current and former military personnel would be required to salute the flag for the duration of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Other attendees would be expected to remove hats and stand facing the flag with their right hands over their hearts.
However, the ordinance doesn’t outline any penalties for violations.
Kaepernick made national headlines for sitting during the National Anthem at a 49ers preseason game last month. The quarterback said he was demonstrating against racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick and other NFL players have since started kneeling during the anthem as a form of protest.
Balcer, a Vietnam veteran, has worked to honor servicemen in the past. He recently pushed to designate an empty chair at Wrigley Field and the United Center to honor prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.
The former alderman retired from the City Council in 2015 after 17 years, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was appointed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1997.