Memorial Day is a day we have set aside to remember our fallen and the ultimate price those Americans paid for the freedom and liberty we enjoy today. Hero’s all, in their own way – some died in far away lands answering their country’s call, others knowingly sacrificed their lives in defense of their brothers in arms, and some in between.
There is a symbol in the center of the common ground all of these men and women share, not merely a symbol, but a symbol which represents a way of life those brave men and women sacrificed for – the American flag. Our flag represents many things to many people – liberty, freedom, peace, hope, prosperity, and family just to name a few. Our flag stands for all of these things and more.
But beyond that, the American flag represents who we are as a people, or who we once were. The flag is not just a symbol – it’s a memory, it’s a rally point, it invokes pride and humility. Our flag is not just a symbol of a nation or a lifestyle; it is symbolic of 3 things that should comprise the very core of our beliefs.
We are all somewhat familiar with what the flags historic design represents, the 50 stars represent the 50 states that comprise our union, the 13 stripe represent the original 13 colonies comprising a fledgling nation who would fight and finally gain independence from a tyrannical king.
The flag has gone through many changes since the revolutionary war to become what it is today and even though we may know what the flags design represents historically, I fear the meaning; the philosophy of its design is being lost.
The old saying “THESE COLORS MAY BLEED, BUT THEY NEVER RUN” gives insight to the true depth of symbolism of our flag and the moral implications of that symbolism.
The 50 stars do represent the 50 states that comprise our union. They share commonality in the blue background of the flag – a new thing, a new constellation is represented. The states are united in their defense of this nation and in their core beliefs or vigilance, perseverance, and justice; those beliefs being best represented in the Constitution of the United States.
But while they are united by a blue background, they are all individual stars, the founders realized the states, being occupied by peoples of different backgrounds and ethnicities should have their own autonomy or governing to a great extent. This would foster freedom and co-operation between the states by mutual respect for each other.
We also find depth of symbolism in the strips of our flag.
Charles Thompson, the Secretary of the Continental Congress stated it best; “White signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue, vigilance, perseverance and justice.”
Considering Charles Thompson’s definition – the statement “These Colors may bleed, but they never run” takes on a whole new meaning and a warning.
How far have we drifted from the philosophy represented by our flag? The “purity and innocence” represented by the flag’s white stripes is rapidly being replaced by a moral depravity that has bled into every fabric of our society, all the while hiding behind the banner of freedom.
Freedom is not freedom to do what ever the hell you what, it is being able to do whatever you want in purity of purpose and in the innocence of motive.
The “hardiness and valor” represented by the red strips is succumbing to laziness and cowardess. We have allowed our government to construct a framework in which laziness is encouraged and where hard work and valor are minimized.
We are allowing an entire generation to become cowards, refusing to stand up for themselves, their neighbors, and their beliefs, and instead are being blown about by the wind of popularity.
The meaning of the blue background surrounding the 50 stars – “vigilance, perseverance and justice,” are under attack by a people who’s concept of justice is whatever they determine to be in the best interest of the people, under the deceptive banner of ‘Social Justice.’
The founders possessed the foresight to realize “vigilance” was a necessary safeguard to keep the core beliefs of our nation strong; to keep the colors of the flag from ‘running,’ allowing our nation to become something altogether different than its original intent.
Unless our vigilance is restored soon, we will loose our country. It’s time to fully comprehend what our flag represents, restore our core beliefs, break with those who are destroying our country by intent or omission, remaining vigilant, realizing that it’s takes just as much hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice to maintain a country as it does to build one.
Only then will we understand fully what our flag represents and be truly thankful for the price paid by those who we honor on this Memorial Day.