An American flag education center is opening in downtown Pittsburgh.
The National Flag Foundation said the facility in the lobby of the Koppers Building will include interactive exhibits of veterans’ stories and the history of the flag. The building will also feature a rooftop red, white, and blue lighting display.
Flag Foundation chairman Romel Nicholas said the flag stands for unity and rises above the fray on issues.
“The purpose of the Flag Foundation is to educate above and beyond that in the spirit of what brings the country together, not what separates the country," Nicholas said.
He said he thinks visitors will be particularly interested in the center due to the recent controversy surrounding President Trump and the NFL. Over the past two season, players knelt during the national anthem to protest police violence.
Nicholas said the Flag Foundation respects the right of the players to protest and cited Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring flag burning legal under the first amendment.
“‘We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents,’” Nicholas, quoting Associate Justice William Brennan’s majority opinion, said.
The Pittsburgh-based organization turns 50 this year, and the learning space is expected to open in 2019.