Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 5, 2012

The American Flag

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

For over 200 years the American flag has been a symbol of our freedom, strength, and unity.  There have been many changes from the first American flag to the one we have today.

The early flag had 13 stripes, alternating red and white.  Today, those stripes represent the original colonies.  The early flag had 13 stars “that represented a new Constellation.”  Stars were added as states were admitted to the union.

The colors are symbolic.  Red is for hardiness and valor.  White is for purity and innocence.  Blue is for Chief – – vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

A little known and acknowledged fact is an Act of Congress on June 14, 1777.  To my knowledge, this Act has not been repealed or amended.  On that date, Congress declared that “the star is symbolic of heaven and the goal all man has been striving for.”  (That’s seems evangelistic to me!  Let’s proclaim it and not fear opposition to it!)

I truly love the American flag!  This is the season to display the flag.  And July 4  brings to the public more exhibiting of the flag than Flag Day itself.  I have not sought to be a collector of flags, but it is interesting how some special American flags are in our possession.  I treasure one that I found and framed.  It is an old cotton flag that was sown with threads.  It is a 5’x8′ flag that flew over Pensacola.  And . . . being of the era of cotton and stitches, it has only 48 stars — representing only the 48 states that at that time were part of the United States of America.

There is another large framed flag that we cherish.  It was flown over the Capitol in honor of our wedding anniversary; then there is a boxed flag that was flown over the Capitol in honor of my 70th birthday.  These are treasures for more reasons than that they were personalized.  They represent celebrations in our lives.  Isn’t that what the American flag is all about?  As we hoist or wave the flag, it is a declaration that we are celebrating America!

We wave the flag celebrating our freedom!  And certainly in our hearts we are thanking God and perhaps singing, God bless America!

We have reason to be unset when someone burns an American flag.  Yes, it is unlawful, but we fret because someone is missing the point!  They are burning the symbol that gives them freedom!

I recall days in the past when there was much complaining about America.  And then . . . those bumper stickers with an American flag and the words“Love it or Leave it!”  I agree.  If you don’t care to live under the American flag — and share our freedoms — then why be here?

In those tumultuous days in Miami some 35 years ago when many people were leaving Miami and relocating, bumper stickers began to appear: “Would the last American leaving Miami, please bring the flag?”  Paul Harvey mentioned the exodus and commented on the bumper sticker.  Our heart was so in Miami during those days, we had no thought of leaving.  I responded, and I am grateful for Paul Harvey being supportive and responding positively.  I shared with him the slogan “Don’t worry, the flag will still be here when you return.”

That is my sentiment.  All of us living under the freedom of the American flag must be one people.  Our love for this land and our freedom is not determined by location, culture, or economics.  It is a freedom bought and purchased by hundreds of thousands of Americans.   Wherever we live, let us proudly display and wave the great symbol of our freedom — the American flag!

The Fourth of July may be over, but let us continue to celebrate!

Lawson

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