What makes a flag important? So important that one would even die for it? Or keep fighting when it waves? Or salute it during peaceful times? Or ensure it flies in honor?
What makes a flag this important? And why do we honor it one designated day a year?
It’s not the material it’s made out of, or its initial value. It’s not the one stitching it at its seams. It isn’t that it can be made into a smaller version, or even a large highly noticeable one.
No… A flag like this is important for one reason – what it represents!
This flag represents freedom. It stands for truth and justice, and an opportunity for all who embrace it to pursue happiness. This flag has history steeped in blood and sweat and tears. It offers liberty to those who will draw near to claim it, but it requires something of us too.
This flag requires allegiance – to ideals that shaped what she stands for, to foundational truths that brought her into existence, to values she has maintained since her birth, and to an understanding that she submits to her Great Providence.
She doesn’t speak a word and yet when she waves so proudly high in the air, she proclaims with the greatest mighty voice ever known to man:
July 4th is known for cookouts and grilling, summer activities, and – of course – fireworks!
But what is the background of this historical holiday? Why do we even celebrate this day? I hazard to guess that many – so many – of our younger generations are quickly forgetting the sacrifices of the past and neglecting to fight for and preserve the freedoms of today. Our school systems have been evolving over the recent few decades to eliminate the historical beginnings of the United States. And they aren’t the only proponents in the demise of our legacy. We could throw into this mix our politicians and special interest groups too.
Independence Day is the day the Founding Fathers risked their wealth, families, freedoms, and their very lives to establish a new nation and sever all ties with England and its tyrannical King George III by signing a document known as the Declaration of Independence.
For what reason? There had long been disputes between the Thirteen Colonies and the King of England for his mistreatment and misconduct towards the settlers of this new land. Some of these were social injustices, while others were failing to meet the basic needs of the people and establishing laws that were blatantly unfair and burdensome. The freedoms, for which these patriots and their older generations had sought and come to the new world for, were now under attack; and the very thought of oppressive rule by England – from which they had fled for this reason – was no longer a life they were willing to endure.
Today, we find ourselves in a world where citizens are fighting each other over monuments, flags, the color of our skin, and ethnic backgrounds, when we are losing the freedoms prior generations have fought so bravely and selflessly to preserve. Instead of dividing over the things which we disagree, we should be uniting over those things we have in common. As Americans living in the United States, we are citizens who should be united with each other on the basis that we are Americans – people who have come from all corners of the world to form a new nation, a new culture and class of people.
Perhaps – on this Independence Day – we would do well to remind ourselves of WHY we celebrate this day. It’s not just another holiday. It is the birthday of the nation we live in and enjoy! It is a reminder that freedom is fought for, died for, and maintained by those who desire to preserve and keep it. Freedom is desired by all, given to none, and kept by only a few – and it can be lost quickly if we aren’t being diligent to protect it.
To all my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day!
I encourage you to please take a few minutes today to re-read the Declaration of Independence by clicking here. You will be glad you did.