SPOKANE, Wash. — Veterans fought for their flag and their freedom. They also fought for the first amendment right to freedom of speech.

Veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 51 in Spokane disagreed with the with the manner in which NFL players are protesting but the veteran’s said they respect each individual American citizen’s freedom to express their first amendments rights.

“I don't approve of it, but it's still their right to do it. This isn't a dictatorship,” said Veteran Joe Gannaway.

Another veteran, CD Segars, spent 22 years serving the country and sees the American flag as a symbol of unity.

“You can still do your protesting, but show the respect,” Segars said. “We fought for our freedom and fought for our country, what flag was flying? Our flag was flying.”

Segars said he thinks the protests are dividing an already divided nation.

“All of the wars we have fought, everybody has fought and the flag has been there,” Segars said. “Everybody fights for the flag, that’s patriotism.”

Veteran Ronald Henry said he is a fan of the Seattle Seahawks and is not sure if the protests would influence how he watches the team.

“I'll watch them but let's see what happens next time,” Henry said.

The veterans at Spokane Post 51 disagreed with how the protests are sweeping the nation. Would they stand behind the players if they were protesting in a different way?

“Maybe, as long as it’s not disrespect,” Segars said.