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
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
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
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
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."
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.
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
*A respect for the nation's heritage
*A love for the land itself
*A pride in the opportunities offered by
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
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
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