Americans celebrate Flag Day on Saturday, a day that marks the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the nation’s flag by the Continental Congress in 1777.
The day wasn’t observed until 1885 when a 19-year-old teacher, Bernard Cigrand, first assigned his students the task of writing an essay about the significance of the flag. He then spent considerable time and effort to encourage more Americans to honor the symbol of their nation.
The flag represents many of America’s principles just in the way it is used.
It has stood in victory over battlefields around the world as the men and women in the nation’s military fought to defend freedom.
It waved during the Civil Rights marches in the 1950s and 1960s as a symbol of the equal opportunity guaranteed to every U.S. citizen in the Constitution.
And it has been abused during protests, reinforcing the right of Americans to assemble to address grievances and participate in the right to free speech.
Regardless of one’s opinion toward the policies and practices of the United States, the flag deserves to be treated with respect for all that it represents. That means it should not be left outside in all types of weather, especially on those small attachments that used to be so popular on vehicles.
Flags on display should be kept clean and not allowed to become tattered or torn. Such carelessness shows little honor for the things the flag represents.
Fly the Stars and Stripes proudly — and properly — on Saturday. Whether you agree with America’s political course or not, the flag still represents our nation where individual freedom remains a fixture.