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A Message from the President...

Has America Forgotten the Flag?

As we reflect on the passing of another Flag Day, it is quite obvious that we live in a time when special days have grown very common. When it comes to being a patriot and remembering holidays such as Flag Day, many have forgotten their importance, allowing the holidays to slip by as just another normal day on the calendar.

The first flag of the United States, with its thirteen alternating red and white stripes next to a blue field holding thirteen stars, was officially adopted on June 14, 1777. (That is why Flag Day is remembered on June 14th.) Although some communities celebrated the adoption of the flag as far back as the 1860's, Flag Day was not observed nationally until 1949. Years ago, many Americans showed great zeal in their observance of Flag Day. Unfortunately, as this nation moves further into the twenty-first century, fewer flags are flying proudly in front of homes each year.

Tragically, many no longer remember that the flag is a great symbol of the sacrifices made for this nation. Arrogantly forgotten are the Americans who sacrificed their lives to make this nation a model of freedom for the world to follow. With this growing trend, Flag Day will soon be forgotten by more and more with each passing year.

But despite people's forgetfulness, Flag Day along with other patriotic holidays is important to the survival of our nation as well as the survival of the symbols that represent our rich heritage.

THE FLAG

The symbol of all that America is and means and stands for is represented by the flag. A citizen who pledges allegiance to Old Glory is solemnly promising that he will do all in his power to support, protect, and defend the Constitution, the institutions of government, the laws, and the very spirit of this nation under God.

Sidney L. DeLove once said, "The great events of our past and present are wrapped up in our flag. It is a symbol of this blessed nation, a giant in industry, education and commerce. Millions of fertile square miles, wheatlands, coal mines, steel plants. Our great republic, the chosen infant destined to be man's last and remaining hope for suffering humanity, a shining beacon of light, noble and glorious, the haven for the oppressed and persecuted and truly God's gift to mankind. This is what the flag means to me."

THE PLEDGE

Francis Bellamy of Boston, who was an associate editor for a young people's magazine called The Youth's Companion wrote the words of the Pledge of Allegiance. The original Pledge written by Bellamy was printed in the magazine in 1892. Since it included the ideals upon which the nation was founded and which the American people held dear, the Pledge was well received by Bellamy's audience. It was first used in the National School Celebration honoring the four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus and was soon printed in leaflet form and distributed to schools all over the nation. Before long, millions of students were reciting the Pledge as they saluted the flag during the celebration.

In 1942 Congress adopted Francis Bellamy's Pledge. Then, a resolution adding the words "under God" was passed in 1954 when members of Congress realized that only as long as Americans recognized that they were under the authority and providence of God would the U.S. remain a free, prosperous and unique nation. During the decade of the 1950's, Americans were alert to the imperialistic threats of atheistic Communism. The idea that America is a nation of citizens who give their allegiance to God, not to atheistic materialism, was reaffirmed by the pledge. President Eisenhower gave the following explanation when he signed the act of Congress that added the words "under God," :

From this day forward, the millions of school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty.

To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country's true meaning.

Especially is this meaningful as we regard today's world. Over the globe, mankind has been cruelly torn by violence and brutality and, by millions, deadened in mind and soul by a materialistic philosophy of life. Man everywhere is appalled by the prospect of atomic war.

In this somber setting, this law and its effects today have profound meaning. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and in war.

PATRIOTISM

What is patriotism?

*A love and loyalty to one's country

*A desire to make one's nation the best in the world

*A willingness to serve and sacrifice for the nation

*A respect for the nation's heritage

*A love for the land itself

*A pride in the opportunities offered by the nation.

Without a doubt, we have so much to be thankful for and proud of in America. As citizens we have an abundance of reasons for being patriotic. Although each section is different, every part of America has a wealth of natural beauty. Grand monuments mark national buildings and landmarks. The sentiment of Americanism is natural. President Theodore Roosevelt said "Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity and hardihood-the virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love-of-soft-living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life."

Americans also have a heritage of freedom through the characteristics and traditions that have been handed down to us by our ancestors. Men of great character and responsibility were our early leaders. These individuals were well-educated and wanted their children to live in a nation that was free. As a result, great principles of freedom were established that no other nation has ever known. In many parts of the world, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and many other basic American privileges are unknown even today. Two of the world's most outstanding documents the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution proclaim these freedoms unashamedly.

Compared to the U.S. there is no other nation that presents such great opportunity. In America success stories are a reality. There is a promise of freedom from the shortages that much of this world faces for everyone willing to work. Most importantly, this nation offers an escape from tyranny, oppression and persecution.

A MOMENT OF REFLECTION

Try an experiment. Ask a child if he can recite the pledge of allegiance. Tragically, you will soon find that many are unable to perform this simple task.

Many of this nation's school children no longer know the meaning of Flag Day. In fact, many public schools have abandoned the practice of the daily Pledge of Allegiance as a campus-wide practice. Since school days are busier, the pledge is taking a back seat according to some school officials (It only takes ten seconds to say). In addition, schools are trying to demonstrate sensitivity to children from different religious beliefs or backgrounds by implementing a more flexible stance on the Pledge of Allegiance. To many, this trend is disturbing and tragic.

For the most part, principals without a school-wide flag ritual seem uncomfortable acknowledging they have stopped the practice. They say that they have left the decision to the teachers while making sure that every classroom has a flag. Many do not even know if any teachers actually make the pledge a daily practice. A growing number of principals have indicated that they value the Pledge but do not believe it is something that should be done daily. Some use an excuse of a busy schedule as the reason for the removal of the Pledge from daily routine. Others make excuses for the pledge's absence by saying that high school students do not start their day with homeroom where the Pledge would be recited but go directly to their first period classes.

As students move further and further away from the pledge, they are also being exposed daily to academic revisionist that are committed to teaching that patriotism is not necessary even though it was the spirit of patriotism that has enabled this nation to unite and struggle through every crisis in its history. Classroom teachers instead embrace such concepts as globalism and multiculturalism.

Today, what is being ignored is the cause, effect, significance and meaning of seminal events and ideas that have made America great. The current educational system espouses progressive education that adjusts the student to a progressive society in order to bring in a new world and has turned away from traditional education that passes on to new generations of individuals the culture, traditions, beliefs, wisdom, and knowledge of their ancestors. Of the social evolutionary process, education is viewed as the most advanced phase. Therefore, to adjust the individual to his environment and to control the child for the sake of the welfare of the society is the goal of education's revisionists.

The ideology of socialism is willingly accepted by these children that are so adjusted and controlled. Despised as old fashion and reactionary is traditional education. In order to prepare the citizens of America for socialism, education has become a means of destroying traditional beliefs, attitudes, and values.

It is time for true patriots to rise once again and identify the faults of this nation and work vigorously to correct them to preserve the form of government our Founding Fathers created. The moral values upon which the Republic was founded are the means to keeping America great. For this nation's survival, patriotism cannot be forgotten.

 

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