COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — When the national anthem plays before the Super Bowl on TV screens all over South Carolina, the state's governor is urging residents to stand up.
Republican Henry McMaster issued a proclamation Tuesday designating Feb. 4 as "Stand for the Flag Super Bowl Sunday."
McMaster said in a release that standing for the anthem "recognizes and honors the sacrifice of generations of men and women who have chosen to serve in the United States Armed Forces."
NFL players who kneeled during the anthem before games over the past year said they were exercising their free-speech rights and bringing attention to social injustices. Critics, including President Donald Trump, said they disrespected the flag, the country and the military.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles meet Sunday in the 2018 Super Bowl.