A Congressional resolution enacted in 1949 established June 14 as a special day set aside to honor Old Glory. Another Congressional resolution established the National Flag Week.
I love that we have a day, and a week, set aside to honor the Stars and Stripes. Just this March, I visited the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit at the Smithsonian with my grandpa (a retired Marine Corps Colonel). It was in-incredible. As I stood there, dumbstruck, taking in the historic flag−shelled, weather-beaten and aged, but lovingly preserved−I thought about where it had been and the people who gave their lifeblood under it…for my freedom. I remember hearing my grandpa choke up as he stood next to me, staring at the flag, and say that he was honored to have served under the Stars and Stripes with his fellow countrymen. Wow. I am so humbled to be a partaker of that freedom he and tens of thousands of others fought for over the last 200+ years.
In college I studied Texas v. Johnson (1989) in one of my Constitution classes, the controversial Supreme Court ruling that established flag desecration as “free expression,” and therefore protected under the Constitution as a form of “free speech.” How far we have fallen when disgruntled citizens can legally desecrate the symbol of freedom under which their countrymen and women gave their lives…so that they could protest government!
There are things in my country’s past that I am totally, completely in disagreement with. Roe v. Wade is one of them. But I disagree with them precisely because they depart(ed) completely from everything this country, and our symbolic flag, stand for! Purity, innocence, hardiness, valor, vigilance, perseverance and justice. Desecrating the flag actually dishonors the lives of every man and woman who died under it for our freedom.
Thankfully, we still have the right to honor Old Glory, and thereby every person who has served or died under it in accordance with the glorious principles it stands for.
Here are some pictures and resources for you to consider as you honor the flag, and the God-given freedom it stands for, this week.
- Star power: 200 years of change
- 2010 Flag Day and National Flag Week Presidential Proclamation
- The Star-Spangled Banner online exhibit
- The rules for displaying the American Flag
And the video that is making the rounds…