Very good piece that raises a lot of good questions. My two cents on the flag thing is that it stands for (in part) just exactly what those who kneel are doing (free speech, peaceful protest), so it’s ironic that some people are up in arms about that. Also, pretty much no-one was up in arms about Jehovah’s Witnesses declining to salute the flag on religious grounds. It’s only when rich black men start doing it that it becomes a problem. Not to turn this into an entirely flag-based conversation ala Sheldon Cooper, but it does speak to what you were saying about some people’s free speech being more sacrosanct than others.