Flags fly from boat masts across the marina in front of me. The brisk breeze maximizes their visibility, and their colors shine against the backdrop of water and sky.
Each flag is a banner of identity encapsulating the history of this nation.
Thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that existed when America was born. These colonies were inhabited by people who desired a place to live free of oppression – a place of opportunity and equality. We rightfully remember these ancestors, because they paid dearly for the principles of freedom that we enjoy today.
Three colors are displayed on the American flag: red, white, and blue.
- Red symbolizes strength and valor. I look at this color and see the brave sacrifices of men and women as they fought for and built this country. They courageously lived for a cause greater than self.
- White represents innocence and purity, the purity of the ideals on which this nation is founded. Purity is an ideal, for no nation can survive and thrive unless the populace controls selfish desires and places the greater good over individual wants.
- Blue is the color of vigilance, perseverance, and justice. When something is precious, we protect it and work to uphold it. Each time I recite the Pledge of Allegiance I affirm my willingness to stand with and for this country that God has ordained. I am an American in good times and bad, when opportunities flourish and when challenges seem to overwhelm.
Stars populate the blue field, each representing a state that has thrown in its lot with this republic. While it seems simple to add a star, these stars represent people who organized, worked, and petitioned to join this nation. Each star speaks of sacrifice and a desire to be a part of something bigger than self.
Today, I see the seams of this banner straining as citizens place self above others and license over self-control, and I know that only one thing can hold the country this flag represents together.
A purposeful statement resides in the middle of The Pledge of Allegiance –
one nation under God.
There is no comma between nation and under; the words are connected as one thought.
This statement signifies the unalterable truth that only as we place ourselves under the authority of God can we maintain the unity of purpose necessary to sustain this great nation.
The flag waves proudly, reminding me of what has been and challenging me to stand true to the principles of valor, purity, and justice.
Reminding me that the whole is only as good as the sum of its parts.
Reminding me that my allegiance to the authority of God enables me to be a true and loyal citizen of this country.
Such a gift we have been given!
Such a responsibility we bear!
God bless America!
Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
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