The “American Flag”, “The Stars and Stripes”, the “Star Spangled Banner”, or “Old Glory” whatever your favorite expression is for our flag represents our freedom and hope in the great United States of America. We are all well aware that the red stands for hardiness and courage, white for purity and innocence, and blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice but what does the flag really mean to you? Think about this for a moment. The flag takes on a personal meaning to each and everyone of us at some point and time in our life.
I know that from the time I could have possibly understood what our flag was that I was taught to have great respect for it, as each and everyone of us was. But the first memory that has remained etched in my mine for life is the flag that was draped over my Father’s casket when his body was returned from World War II. I remember the flag draped coffin with the Army serviceman standing guard over my Father and the flag in our living room. My Father, like so many others, gave his life so each of us could have the freedom to live freely and fly the flag, honor, and respect it. I am sure that many of you have this same memory as we have all lost a family member or knew someone who died in keeping our freedom . All of us have given great sacrifice to have our flag fly freely. Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty.
The Flag can bring memories rushing back of great sadness or bring forth memories of great pride and happiness. The flag bearer leading the band in parades, what a great privilege this is for each of us to watch much less the honor for the flag bearer to carry our American Flag.
More than a million Americans have died on battlefields or were lost at sea defending the freedom our flag represents. This has been a very costly sacrifice for these Americans, our ancestors, and their families. No, we do not worship the Flag. Only to God do we kneel, but our Flag is the emblem of our country. It is our birthright, heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow of many. Let us never forget the sacrifice but let us not always be sorrowful. We must hold our heads high with honor and dignity as the many that have gone before us have done.
Our Flag, what is it to you and what does it really mean to each of us as individuals?