Is disrespecting the flag anything more than political foolishness? The courts have ruled that flag burning is protected “speech.” It’s a free country, and you can say anything you want… unless it is hate speech, misgendering, using the wrong pronoun, or shooting off your mouth at a school board meeting. These may trigger the ire of the national security state. What about some free speech that celebrates freedom and our country’s flag?
Flag Day is June 14, so instead of joining the professional sports world and taking a knee at games, adding an out-of-tune note to the strains of the national anthem, let’s say something positive about that great flag of ours. Why respect the flag? Well, to begin with, it is a virtue traditionally associated with the Ten Commandments. What, you say? Yes, the virtue of patriotism falls under the heading of the Fourth Commandment, “Honor thy father and mother.” This encompasses respect for parents, teachers, police, those in authority, and yes, our country, symbolized by its flag.
In a world of “nones” (no particular religion or vaguely agnostic) or angry atheists, whether they be coastal intellectuals or Marxist-anarchist-rioting types, this might not be a strong argument. And their growing numbers in the population, thanks to left-wing school curricula, may explain a lot. But truly, there should be no public controversy over that most uncontroversial of things, our country’s flag. Men and women have died for it. The captured flags of our foes decorate the walls of our military museums, while our flag still waves proudly.
Every year on Flag Day, in the heart of downtown New York near Wall Street, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York host Flag Day events, parades, speeches, and student essay contests. Small town America in the heart of the big city. A vast American Flag drapes the front of their building. At their Fraunces Tavern Museum, they are currently displaying the regimental flags from the fledgling states. George Washington strongly encouraged these flags. He saw flags as a rallying point. He was trying to unite a young nation. Can the American Flag still play that role in uniting our sometimes quite un-united people?
In his “Remarks and Explanation” for the Great Seal of the United States, Secretary for the Continental Congress Charles Thomson wrote, “the colours of the pales [on the Seal] are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the colour of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.” There is nothing controversial about the Red, White, and Blue.
From George M. Cohan’s “It’s a Grand Old Flag” to Johnny Cash’s iconic rendition of “Ragged Old Flag,” let’s sing the praises of this flag. And let us not forget that Gen. Eisenhower, the only president baptized while in the White House, signed a change to the Pledge of Allegiance into law in 1953. At the urging of patriotic groups like the Knights of Columbus, who began a campaign in 1951 to amend the pledge, the words “under God” were added. What is more fitting than calling on His protection for our flag, our nation, and our families on this day?