When a veteran started offering traditional remarks at a military flag-folding ceremony, several uniformed airmen assaulted him, dragging him out of the room because his remarks mentioned God. Now First Liberty Institute lawyers representing retired Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez are demanding that the U.S. Air Force apologize and punish those responsible or face a federal civil-rights lawsuit.

For countless years, service members have given the “flag-folding speech” at military and civic events, including retirement ceremonies. Traditionally, this speech explains the colors, symbols, and history of the flag.

The flag-folding speech also contains several religious references, including, “Let us pray that God will reflect with admiration the willingness of one nation in her attempts to rid the world of tyranny, oppression, and misery. It is this one nation under God that we call, with honor, the United States of America.”

The speech closes with, “God bless our flag. God bless our troops. God bless America.”

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