Earlier this year ago I added a flagpole to my backyard so that I could proudly fly the American flag. Since my home is on a corner lot that borders a walking trail, there are hikers and bike riders that pass by regularly.
An interesting thing happened when my flag first appeared. Some people stopped to salute. Others paused, standing tall, and appeared to undergo some sort of inner reflection. I honestly had no idea there was so much patriotism in a neighborhood filled with mixed political ideologies.
I was and am still thrilled.
These are my thoughts on what it means to fly the American Flag.
But First. . .
I know I have been mostly absent for the last couple of years, but most assuredly, I am still here. I continue to embrace and enhance my ability to be self-sufficient and to add to my accumulation of prepping supplies. I have gone back to the roots of my preparedness journey and continue to make every day a prepping day.
One of those many roots is grounded in my belief that I still live in the best country on the planet. Now, as in 2010, I don’t go along with the current emphasis on big government. And the last thing I ever want to do is to visit Camp FEMA.
All that being said, I love my country and am proud to fly our stars and stripes.
The American Flag: A Symbol
At its core, the American flag represents the ideals and principles that this country was founded upon. These include freedom, equality, justice, and democracy. It is a symbol of the unity of the nation, of the sacrifices made by those who have fought to defend its freedoms, and of the diversity and pluralistic society that America strives to be.
It is my view that when someone flies the American flag, they are making a statement about their values and beliefs. They are saying that they are proud to be an American and that they stand with the country in good times and bad. It shows respect for the country’s heritage, history, and culture.
I also feel the American flag is also a symbol of hope and resilience. It has flown through some of the most difficult times in American history, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to the attacks on Pearl Harbor and on the taking down of the twin towers on September 11th.
In each instance, the flag and the will of Americans have come out on the other side as a symbol of strength and unity.
I feel it is important not to confuse this symbol with the reality of the moment. Let me repeat that for emphasis:
I feel it is important not to confuse this symbol with the reality of the moment.
How to Display the American Flag
Since installing the flagpole, I have learned that flying the American flag comes with some responsibilities as outlined in the US Flag Code.
Specifically, these guidelines call for displaying the flag in public only from sunrise to sunset. The exception is that the flag may be displayed at all times if illuminated during darkness (which is not as easy to do as you might think).
The flag should not be subject to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow, and wind storms. It must be handled with care and dignity, never touching the ground and not altering it in any way, and not wearing it as clothing. When not flying, the flag should be folded in a triangle, with the blue field of stars on top.
And finally, it should be disposed of properly and with dignity and never simply thrown out with the trash.
As Johnny Cash said in “Ragged Old Flag”:
So we raise her up every morning
We take her down every night
We don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right
On second thought, I do like to brag
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag
Summing It All Up
My final message today is that the American flag is a symbol for all Americans, regardless of political affiliation or belief. It should be flown with respect and dignity, and not used as a divisive political tool. Use it to show love and respect for the United States of America, a country that stands for freedom and liberty.
In our current atmosphere of cultural and political adversity, now, more than ever, it is important to honor and respect our flag. Let us use it as a unifying symbol for all Americans.
Yours for a Joyful Life,
PS: The flag in the photo is mine, flying high above the trees in my yard. Its beauty never ceases to amaze.
I purchased my flagpole from an online company specializing in flagpoles, Stand Flagpoles. I have no affiliation with this company other than being a satisfied customer. I did, however, purchase a different flag as well as a solar spotlight to illuminate the flag at night.
Heavy Duty Outdoor US Flag: This is an extremely well-made 4×6 US Flag.
Solar Light Extension Pole: The flagpole is 25 feet tall so adding adequate illumination was difficult. I used this extension to raise the solar light higher than the fencepost. I then stabilized it with paracord.
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