Your Flag / My Flag
The American flag has been the symbol of our nation's strength and unity for more than
200 years. The American flag is a source of inspiration and national pride. As I look at the
American flag, I can’t imagine a more perfect flag and symbol for our nation.
Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red and six alternating white
stripes that represent the original thirteen colonies. Fifty stars represent the fifty states of
the Union. Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence
and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
The Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act on June 14, 1777, in order to establish
an official flag for the new nation. According to legend in May of 1776, Betsy Ross
sewed the first American flag. Elizabeth Griscom Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress,
reportedly sewed the American flag from a design brought to her by George Washington.
The thirteen stars and the thirteen stripes represented the first thirteen states: Delaware,
Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland,
South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
September 14, 1814 - The flag that flew over Ft. McHenry was made by Mary Young
Pickersgill. Her home in Baltimore was later enshrined as the “Flag House.” Situated on
the corner of Albemarle and Pratt streets in Baltimore, it is preserved as a National
The American flag is no doubt a heart warming and emotional symbol of a proud nation.
The American Flag belongs to all the citizens of our nation. I can see no reason to
desecrate our national symbol in protest to government policies. Many brave men and
women paid the ultimate sacrifice to give birth to this great symbol. (But one of the rights
our flag secures, is that right to free expression)
Sadly, the use of the American flag by some government leaders to claim patriotism, and
righteousness while furthering their personal (and sometimes, religious) agendas is a misuse
of the great symbol of our nation. And, we have seen politicians wrap their political
agendas in the American flag claiming all that oppose them are unpatriotic.
The flag is used often in photo opts and powerful television campaign ads to evoke a
feeling of patriotism. Our politicians have a right to be proud of the American flag and they
have the right to display the American flag. The American people just need to understand
the impact these powerful images have on their perspective, and how the power of that
image can obscure divisiveness.
The American people proudly display the American flag to honor our fallen leaders and
brave men and women in uniform. We proudly display our flag to illuminate the
accomplishments of a great nation. The American flag and its symbolism must be
When I see my American flag, I see a perfect symbol of a free nation. We must respect
our nation’s colors. Yes, the American flag belongs to all citizens. Misuse of this powerful
symbol of a free nation was not the intention of those who saw the need to have a uniting
and powerful symbol for a free and united society.
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