A North Dakota farmer gave the NFL a special message from his bean crop fields, letting them know that he stands out of respect for the national anthem.
Gene Hanson, 77, of Edgeley, plowed the words “We stand for the national anthem” in his bean crop fields in response to many NFL players’ decision to kneel in protest of the national anthem.
“I go with [President] Trump on this one,” Hanson told Fox News on Tuesday. “If you want to protest, that’s not the place to do it.”
“A lot of people died over our flag. We’re able to voice our opinion because of it. If you’re going to show respect for anything, do it for the national anthem,” he said.
Hanson is known for designing and digging massive, often political, statements into football field-sized sections of his 850-acre farm using his tractor.
He has etched messages such as “Drain the Swamp,” “Vote Trump,” “Feel the Bern,” “Never Hillary,” “Blue Lives Matter,” and “GOP, get your act together.”
The message that got him the most attention was his massive Prince symbol, which he plowed shortly after the singer’s death in May 2016.
Hanson does not use a GPS tracking system or any technology to lay out the designs. He says he simply puts the message or image on his dashboard and follows the pattern.
“[It]works out pretty good in a harvested bean field,” he says.
He checks to see if his design is accurate by flying over the image in his two-seater plane, where he snaps a photo with his Canon camera before posting it to Facebook. Hanson said he has only been inaccurate twice.
Hanson said he successfully created his most recent message on the second try, after he got interrupted the first time by a passerby.
He planned to add the phrase, “We kneel at the cross,” but could not do so because his crops experienced the first frost of the season.
He does plan to add that phrase soon if the weather permits.
Hanson describes himself as a supporter of President Trump, a Republican, and a Lutheran who attends church regularly.
He even got the opportunity to take a photo with the president when Trump delivered his tax reform speech to a crowd of North Dakotans in November.
“I was 20 feet away from him,” Hanson said. “It was a good meeting, and the president stayed on script.”
Hanson believes Trump is doing a good job as president but faces a “continuous battle” in Washington, DC. The 77-year-old farmer says creating these messages is one way he can support the president from his Edgeley farm.