The flag is a sacred symbol of a country, but it seems like Americans are attached to it more than any other nation. In a country that is a home of people with different political, social, racial, and geographic background, the flag has become a symbol that unites the citizens who share a unique homeland regardless all the differences .
American schoolchildren are expected to salute the flag in a formal ritual every day, and that speaks a lot about how much the Stars and Stripes are involved in the core values of each American.
It’s somehow logical for us to expect from the military and the police officers to pay even greater respect to the flag under which they serve the country. That is why a police chief raised his concerns when he spotted a fellow colleague disrespecting the hardiness and valor, purity and innocence, and vigilance, perseverance and justice that the flag stands for after she stood silently and refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and place her hand over her heart during a ceremony.
Unfortunately for the 32-year-veteran officer Anita Najiy, her colleague Fraternal Order of Police president Javier Ortiz noticed her apparent contempt for America and wrote a letter to her superior in which he questioned her ability to serve the country.
“If you’re not pledging allegiance to the United States, my question is what country are you pledging allegiance to?” Ortiz says. “Anyone who isn’t offended by that is not American, because when you become a U.S. citizen, you pledge allegiance to the .US.”
Ortiz strongly believed that Anita Najiy should have been disciplined and removed from her position as commander of the department’s Honor Guard.
Ortiz also believed that being a Muslim, Najiy put her religion above the country and failed to perform her duties as an officer which he stated in the letter to Chief Rodolfo Llanes.
“I had false hopes that the MPD [Miami Police Department] would address the issue at hand. Assistant Chief Najiy practices in the Muslim faith. The MPD apparently is afraid to address this,” Ortiz said. “In the United States, you have the right to practice any religion and say whatever you want off-duty. When you’re in your police uniform, you are to be neutral.”
After Ortiz’s claims were refuted by the justification that Najiy was following U.S. Military code, which supersedes the city’s Honor Guard code, he went further saying that she should have behaved according to the code because she is an officer wearing a law enforcement uniform.
“Religious and political views have no business being reflected when wearing a police uniform,” Ortiz said. “There are plenty of police officers in our department that practice the Muslim faith and pledge allegiance to our country and have a problem with her defiance towards the United States.”
This incident and his attempt to bring to question Najiy’s actions marked officer Javier Ortiz a racist and he was strongly criticized for expressing his concerns and beliefs on the social media.
“We are appalled by the hateful comments that we have been forced to witness over the past several days,” Miami Community Police Benevolent Association President Ella Moore wrote. “Manufacturing issues to divide and call attention away from his own misdeeds seem to be a pattern of this FOP president, who does not appear to be up to the task of showing the true leadership benefiting his current position.”
The ordeal has sparked debate across the country whether Javier Ortiz was right denouncing Anita Najiy’s acting during the ceremony. Some people support Ortiz’s claims, while others believe that officers have the right to refuse to salute the flag without questioning their reasons for doing so.
Would you take a stand for Ortiz’s or Najiy’s actions. Do you believe the country should be above everything? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.