On Wednesday, President Donald Trump failed to honor the American flag during a ceremony on Wednesday, despite the fact that he has heavily criticized athletes for allegedly dishonoring the flag during their protests.
As “Retreat” and “To the Colors” were played at an Air National Guard hangar in Middletown, Pa., Trump remained seated and even seemed to have no idea of what the songs signified, saying, “What a nice sound that is,” and joking around with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“Are they playing that for you or for me?” Trump quipped. “They’re playing that in honor of his ratings. He’s beating everybody.”
“Retreat” is played at the beginning and end of every day as the flag is raised and lowered, “to signal the end of the duty day and pay respect to the nation’s flag,” according to the Army website. It is traditional for both military members and civilians to pause and pay their respects when it is played, though Trump, despite being the commander-in-chief and therefore the highest-ranking member of the military, did not seem to realize this and remained seated.
The somber ceremony is “one of the oldest traditions in the Army, which dates back to the Revolutionary War,” according to the U.S. Army website.
This despite the fact that Trump is currently at war with athletes who kneel during the national anthem for supposedly disrespecting the flag and military.