published: Sunday, June 14, 2009
Red, white and blue
The fluttering in the chest as we see our nation's colors blowing in the breeze express the patriotism in our hearts.
On June 14, 1777, Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag of the United States.
The flag is a symbol we both love and take for granted.
At www.usflag.org, I learned how our flag's colors didn't have particular meaning; but the Great Seal of the United States did.
This Seal - designed to reflect the beliefs, values, and sovereignty of the founding fathers of the new nation - became a reality in 1782. White signified purity and innocence; red equaled hardiness and valour; and, blue represented vigilance, perseverance and justice.
Their compatibility with the colors of our flag is obvious.
The star symbolizes the heavens and the divine goal to which man has always aspired. The stripes symbolize the rays of light radiating from the sun.
Recently, a DVD on the life of John Adams, founding father and second president of the United States, humbly reminded us of the intense birth pains of this nation - as real and daunting in the debating and uniting the colony representatives as the struggles on the battlefields.
Without the perseverance, vigilance and sense of justice of those who were compelled to press on (including the families) in the face of horrific odds; we as a nation would not be.
As they sought God's guidance, they came to know the truth of Psalm 33:12, NIV, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
At the Web site above is an interesting story. As it began to rain one day, a young teen and his grandfather clashed over the care of the flag. The grandfather moved to take care of the flag himself and turned to his grandson and said, "You don't understand what this family has paid for the right to fly that flag."
As we watched the cost to John Adams and his family - long separations, illness, loneliness, discouragement and sparse communication; we can appreciate the comment of his son, John Quincy, who later became President.
Like the grandfather above, he knew firsthand the depth of his comment, "Posterity - you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."
Today is Flag Day. Fly the flag proudly. But, fly it with understanding. Let's make choices that will honor God and country. Selah
Jan Merop of Sebring is a News-Sun correspondent.
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