As a Vietnam veteran, an American, and a Christian I want to make it clear that I HONOR the American flag and what I’m going to say is not to diminish that only to make it clear to all the haters of America and the flag burners why I get upset when you disrespect the flag. I was unfriended on Facebook over my adamant honor of the American Flag and told, “It is just a flag.” That being said, it is not the material that the stars and stripes are on that is the core of my respect for the flag it is what it stands for and has stood for since its birth when the legend is that Betsy Ross made it for General George Washington. Frankly I do not care if it was Betsy Ross the fact that it is matters to me!
June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The ensuing years from 1777 to 1960 has necessitated Congress to change the shape, design, and arrangement of the flag to allow for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state. Today the American flag has thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original thirteen colonies; the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice.
This flag was there at Fort Ticonderoga and the Battle of Saratoga. It was there at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the War of 1812. It was there in WWI and at Iowa Jima in WWII It was there on the beaches of Normandy. It was there in Korea. It was there in Vietnam. It has been there in every conflict that the United States has been engaged and those fighting under this Ensign recognized its significance and honored its purpose. It flies at the White House, Congress, State Capitals across this land, is proudly waved on the 4th of July celebrations, Memorial Day, and many other national holidays. It files at the memorials for WWII veterans and the Vietnam Wall and it flies at my house and in my heart. I AM AN AMERICAN and proudly so even in the dire condition she has been relegated today.
In the 1960’s while serving this nation I traveled many places in this world and whenever I saw the Stars and Stripes it brought a sense of pride to my heart and I always paused and saluted that ensign of this great nation. I do not place it above God but I fought under it and recognize the many that have fought and the fallen fighting for freedom around the world under this banner. They did not fight for just a piece of cloth they fought for a nation, a purpose, a people, and a principle. You can disrespect the flag and while I acknowledge you have a right to do so I will also tell you that I will not sit silently by as you do in my presence. Yes, I am a Christian and I will not sit silently by and have people blaspheme my God without speaking up and I will not sit mute while the haters of America tarnish our national symbol – THE FLAG.
When I see athletes, politicians or anyone showing disrespect for our flag at the playing of the National Anthem I am angered. Oh, you may say, ‘Roy, as a Christian that should not be bothered by that.’ Maybe you are right but it does! I lost friends and people I knew in Southeast Asia and have too much respect for the fallen to dishonor their memories by passivity. I am willing to forgive all offenses and will defend your right to disrespect the flag but I must insist that you understand and respect my right to take exception to your words and/or actions.
This nation evidenced in the volumes produced by the founders, honored God, liberty, justice, and freedom. The flag that represents this nation is a symbol of those things. Have we departed from those principles in America? Sadly it seem that many have but there are millions of us who have not and still hold dear the principles upon which this nation was established. It is not a rag as Charlie Daniels sings ITS A FLAG and it is the AMERICAN FLAG. It is symbolic of what we were established to be and what we are supposed to stand for!
In 1892 it read “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In 1954 it was altered to “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” That is how it reads currently and I proudly make that pledge as I make my pledge to my God as well.
God bless you and God bless America!