Dunedain - It is looked at as a "badge of courage" of sorts. It is also looked at as a defining action, or non-action, that binds JW's together.
Yup. When I was still in high school as an unbaptised publisher, I never stood up to the Canadian anthem because of Jehovah's Witness beliefs. I've been called different kinds of things by my colleagues because of that; for instance, I have once been called Hitler. When some of the Witnesses in my congregation learned about it, they thought that I'm serious about my faith (and I was at the time.) Then, they surely did approach me with a different attitude—sort of "call me if and when you wanna meet up," etc.