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WTVM Editorial 6/15/21: What The Flag Stands For

Published: Jun. 16, 2021 at 3:34 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:40 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - This week we celebrate Flag Day, always on June 14th.

Our flag should be celebrated as a symbol of the best ideals of our country. The flag made news last week when a New York Times editorial writer said she was “disturbed” by seeing a display of dozens of flags on Long Island, New York.

She told a cable news station the flags sent her the message she was not welcome in America. Her interpretation of the flag is simply wrong.

The flag should never be politicized by anyone because the flag belongs to everyone. But the sad fact is many people don’t know enough about what our flag stands for - or even why it’s red, white, and blue.

It helps to know some US history to appreciate the flag.

The 13 stripes stand for the original colonies, the 50 stars for each state. The colors are symbolic, too: white stripes mean purity and innocence. Red is the color of valor. Blue signals vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Being an American means sharing these values the flag represents. It doesn’t matter what race, sex, or religion you are; your political party or what country you came from, the flag belongs to every American.

Even though America is not perfect, the values under which we were founded – Liberty, Freedom, and Justice for All are principles worth fighting for. So many of our fathers, husbands, mothers, and children even died to protect those American values.

That’s why the flag that graces a military casket is carefully folded and exists as a tangible reminder of that sacrifice.

In 1777 when the flag was adopted, the stars were said to represent “a new constellation…a bright new hope and light for mankind”. That hope and light still exists today, even in these turbulent times. That’s why our flag should still be revered.

The Stars and Stripes should never be claimed as a weapon of any political party. The flag is intended to transcend all that.

Our flag is meant to be a constant reminder of what we stand for; what we aspire to be; and what binds us together as Americans.

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