Trump promises to defend flag in shot at Kaepernick
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Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE promised to protect and promote the U.S. flag during a Thursday speech to veterans, making a veiled reference to the controversy surrounding NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has refused to stand for the national anthem.

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"We will be united by our common culture, values and principles, becoming one American nation. One country, under one Constitution, saluting one American flag, and always saluting it," he said during a speech at the American Legion's national convention in Cincinnati.

"The flag all of you helped to protect and preserve, that flag deserves respect, and I will work with the American Legion to help to strengthen respect for our flag. You see what’s happening, it’s vey very sad."

Trump called on all school children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and said he'd work with the group to "uphold our common values and help ensure they are taught to America’s children."

Kaepernick made waves last week by refusing to stand for the national anthem before games to protest police treatment of minorities. Trump bashed the San Francisco 49ers quarterback earlier this week, telling him to find a new country.