Could you identify the national flag of Kiribati — a swirling blue and white affair with a yellow bird flying over the rising sun — as readily as the Micronesians inhabiting the Pacific island nation can peg the Star and Stripes?
June 14 is Flag Day, and a time to salute the most recognizable and evocative pennant of all time. It’s a red, white, and blue opportunity to honor the sacrifices and contributions inked on her behalf with the blood of brave Americans who would sooner die on the battlefield than see her fold.
There is no America without the U.S. flag. It’s the symbol of who Americans are, what America is, and the launching pad for American armed forces to protect American sovereignty. Her bold stripes and hopeful stars have been to hell and back, and even adorned the moon, while generations the world over have revered and reviled her stately sway as an emblem of power, freedom, might, and right.
On Flag Day, let this vibrant, heart-warming warrior fly freely in every American home, school, and place of work and play, as a powerful reminder of her courageous journey, and her far-flung reach. She has spread freedom, and exposed despots. She has quelled domestic storms and demons that other cradles of civilization have wrestled with unsuccessfully for millennia. Her everlasting belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shames lands where authoritarians lurk behind the banner of socialism, and where systemic corruption and other human rights abuses are sanctioned by the state.
The U.S. flag is the heart and soul of America, and a portrait of its diplomacy over domination, and its tolerance over totalitarianism. America prevails as a super power because she accommodates her adversaries and finances her foes, while addressing conflict with conversation and compromise before taking last-ditch action. Never underestimate her valor. She can kick butt, and deliver justice — fairly and squarely. Her faithful fans lie in copycat democracies and the flood of immigrants arriving daily on her shores seeking a better life than the one they left behind.
Flag Day is a celebration of America’s glorious resume. It should be exalted with the pride and patriotism it deserves. Kick to the curb any notions of conflicting interests because Old Glory is a national symbol, not a religious one. It is not the Bible, nor the Koran, nor the Torah, nor the Buddha-Dharma, nor the Bhagavad Gita. Its presence in public places is innocuous and inviting. The sight of its distinct insignia, ignited by a flash of stripes and a meteor shower of stars, imparts a vital sense of belonging while tickling the senses. It embraces dissenters confidently, too, as if to gently remind them that patriotism is the duty of every person living here under the incomparable protections of the U.S. Constitution.
The Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution on June 14, 1777 with high hopes of birthing a “new constellation.” That starry-eyed vision for a new order in a new world continues to withstand the scrutiny of test and time. Moreover, it proves that you can’t keep a good thing down, so best to keep it flying high and proud — for now and forever.