A video on TikTok showing patrons at a California restaurant dropping everything and standing for the national anthem has gone viral and has also sparked a heated social media debate.
The creator of the video @paulinappa_0 documented the moment when—as she and her breakfast mate were enjoying their meal—"The Star-Spangled Banner" blared through the speakers at Rainbow Oaks Country Market in Fallbrook, California.
Immediately, patrons stopped eating, put down their utensils and stood to face flags on TVs in the restaurant.
The creator and mate appeared to be the only ones still seated.
@pauinappa_0 captioned the TikTok:
"By far the most dangerous situation I've ever been in."
She completed the post with the hashtags #godblessamerica, #getout, #illegal, and #whitepeoplethings.
You can watch the video below.
People on social media had many differing opinions on the video, especially considering the American flag has become somewhat of a party-separating symbol in recent years, its prominence in many areas commonly associated with the far-right.
Many who grew up and attended public schools in the United States have been conditioned to adhere to the once-mandatory expectation that the national anthem and pledges to the flag are sacred vows to the country we should be so grateful to inhabit.
Historically, this included standing, putting one's hand over the heart and professing love, respect and honor through memorized lines, just as displayed in the video.
However, in recent years, many have chosen not to adhere to prior social norms, mostly due to the anthem's—and symbolically, the flag's—racist roots and the nation's systemic inequities.
Many have chosen not to acknowledge the patriotic symbols in protest to injustices and violence, most prevalently toward people of color.
Francis Scott Key, the author of the national anthem itself, was a slaveholder and even referenced slavery in the third verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
So, it's not surprising that the creator of this video was extremely uncomfortable—and that viewers engaged in sparring discourse.
Some claimed that standing for the national anthem is common and not doing so is disrespectful for those who fought to defend the country.
But other viewers sided with the creator, noting they, too, would have been uncomfortable in that situation.
And several just wondered about the situation itself.
One thing we can all agree on is that this country has a long way to go.