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Respect U.S. Flag; It’s There For A Reason

Emiley Crittenden, Staff Writer
May 4, 2012
Filed under Opinion

It’s hanging in every classroom, students pass one every day, some never even acknowledging its existence. It’s filled with decades of history and rich symbolism; representing freedom, liberty and the nation. This item is simply known as a flag.

Somewhere between 1776 and 1760 the first flag was created, though nobody actually knows who originally designed it. The American flag has gone through 27 different designs, from the first flag which began with a simple circular ring of 13 stars and a blue background to our present day 50 star flag with alternating red and white stripes.

Every aspect of our flag represents something. The red means hardiness and valor, white signifies purity and innocence and blue is the color that represents the Chief (President). Even though the stars changed from representing colonies to states, each symbolized heaven and the goal all man had been striving for and the stripe represents a ray of light from the sun.

In elementary school, there was no question about saying the pledge once the announcements began. For several reasons: one you showed respect, two you knew it was the right thing to do and finally you cared and were appreciative. Now that we are in high school, many students and even a few teachers don’t say the pledge, much less stand up to acknowledge the flag.

From the American Revolution to the Civil War, and the Iraq War, people have been fighting for freedom, defending our country. They have gaiend respect, independence and honor. Through those trials and triumphs families were torn apart and lives were lost.

To not say the pledge or even stand up is disrespectful to the men and women who have served to protect and defend our country. To those who pose the argument of “I’m not American, I’m Hispanic, or European, this is not my home country.” Well guess what? You’re still here in the United States and you have the opportunity and privilege to be allowed certain rights that many countries don’t offer to their people.

Our flag is more than just a symbol of freedom or independence; it represents unity. When tragedy struck our country on Dec. 7, 1941 in Pearl Harbor, the flag reminded everyone that we could still stand tall with respect and commitment to The United States, even in times of loss. When two planes crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, the American Flag was the symbol of hope, in a time of great despair and horror.

Henry Ward Beecher was quoted as saying: “Our flag carries American ideas, America history, and American feelings. It is not a painted rag, it is a whole national history. It is the Constitution. It is the Government. It is the emblem of the sovereignty of the people. It is the Nation.”

The American flag is a symbol known worldwide that should be treated with respect and love. So the next time the pledge is said during the announcements, stand up, put your hand over your heart, and proudly say the pledge you have know since kindergarten.