Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flag Day in the United States, is the celebration of the birthday of the Stars and Stripes. Sadly, for most Americans, Flag Day is not on their radar like the celebration of Memorial Day or Independence Day. Most Americans may not even realize Flag Day even exists. It is not an official federal holiday as far as federal or other assorted government employees are concerned – no official day off and no overtime pay on this holiday. Thus, Americans may wonder what meaning does the day truly have?

While the chronology may seem inconsequential, it may represent a deeper significance. The design of the flag is recognized as a symbol of the people: the red and white stripes represent the original thirteen colonies and the stars were meant to represent each new state that entered the union. Fundamentally, the flag represented the organization of each of the populations in their respective geographic regions. The flag essentially represented the unity of the people in their desperate desire for freedom.

In other words, the flag was understood to be a symbol of the unity of people and not simply a representation of the government of the United States because at the time, there was no official government. The birth of the flag, reflective of the unity of the people in their desire for freedom from tyranny, was ultimately followed by the adoption of the guiding principles of the first government, which was eventually followed by the recognition of Britain and France that the United States was a legitimate nation within the community of nations.

Throughout our nation’s history, the flag also served as a symbol to other people in other lands yearning for freedom because the United States ultimately earned the reputation as the land of a free people, despite the fact that many of the people who came to this land had to fight for their respective freedom. The majority of people have attained freedom in this country because they were willing to work for it and even fight for it. The founders managed to plow the field and sow the seeds of liberty. There were no guarantees made that this incredible experiment would ever work perfectly, or even work at all.

The structure and organization of our government permitted this quest and struggle for freedom for so many people from all over the world. This nation today is a land where such freedom is cherished even to the point of allowing people their freedom to burn the flag. But even when someone burns the flag in disrespect, it says much more about the vandal than the action of desecration. It either indicates the one who destroys the flag is quite ignorant or quite intolerant of what the land of the free truly means.

Our flag deserves to have a birthday. It has represented to so much to so many throughout our country’s turbulent history. It still represents so much to so many today, yet there are those who understand so little about the genuine value of the flag of the United States. It especially is still the flag of “us” – we the people. May “that Star-spangled Banner still wave… Oe’r the land of the free and the home of the brave...”

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