We have a flagpole in our back yard, and until I lowered it to half-staff after the Boulder, King Soopers’ shootings, I couldn’t see the flag from my kitchen window—it was too high. Up close, Old Glory is now more majestic and personal. It motivates me to write about the fire in my belly—the American flag.
To me, our American flag has always been a symbol of class, high class—Classier than any other country’s flag. It has been an example to strive hard and live high. Many things in our environment set the baseline for excellence or personal expectations, but nothing as clear and consistent as the American flag.
It is a symbol of freedom and hope and, what else? During the past years, I noticed the broad discrepancies of what the flag must mean to some Americans. I see it flying in grandeur with ultimate respect, which is what I believe it warrants, but I also see it as wallpaper behind radical and violent extremists. Do flags offer justification or permit disrespect and disregard of common courtesy or common sense? As we witnessed from our Capitol on January 6, what makes people use the sacred flag of the greatest country on the globe to support their anger against the nation—a flag earned and enduring for all of us. Our beautiful flag was used as a weapon plus it was abused at every level of disrespect.
I just don’t get it. I don’t have the answer to why people who feel the honor to say, “I’m American,” organize and act against the country’s flag with heathen, classless behavior. Brutal actions against a beckon of hope by people who evidently can’t control their behavior made me cry from a deep and painful place.
Many times over the last few years, I have wondered why those who use our flag during violent raids, drag it on the dirty ground, and step on it don’t move to a county they like—one that thrives on hate and violence? Why try to destroy the symbol of a nation proud to live in peace. I have no way of understanding their reasoning—I’m a person who returns my worn and ragged flags to organizations who dispose of them with dignity and honor.
Not treating the flag with love and pristine care is foreign to my logic and upbringing. The disrespect makes me hurt, causes me frustration, makes me fearful of what’s next, and it is unfair to abuse the American flag that has always stood for high standards and ultimate hope.
Call me naive, but I believe our flag stands “For Love And Glory.” May we please stop using it for anything less.