Thursday, July 03, 2008

Old Glory

Independence day will be a day of displays of the American Flag and of fireworks, which lit the sky so that Francis Scott Key could see the Flag during the dark hours of battle.

When I was in grade school, I was permitted to help take down the flag that was flown on our flag pole. I was instructed as to the proper lowering and folding of the flag. Part of those instructions included the warning that if the flag should be permitted to touch the ground that it would have to be burned, for the flag was never to be dishonored by letting it touch the ground.

To me this was terrifying!

The thought of having to burn my nation’s flag was a terrifying thought. I had been taught to know what this flag represents. Such a precious symbol should be held in the highest regard.

After all, my grandfather left Germany and became a naturalized citizen, devoted to all that the United States of America was founded to be. He told his household, “We speak English in this house, for it is the language of this country!”

When Old Glory flies, it shows that the bounties of God are still upon this nation. Not only is it beautiful in design, but glorious in the standard that it represents.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Both this pledge and the Flag have come under attack by those who do not love this nation nor the standards under which it was founded. This pledge makes clear what the United States of America is and what it means to those who flee to her from all over the world. Men and women have bled and died for these precious gifts in order to help insure them to our posterity.

Consider the words of this pledge.

“I pledge allegiance.”

This is a voluntary pledge that flows from being taught to understand what the Flag and Nation are. It flows from a love of others, one’s fellow countrymen, and even for those who will benefit worldwide from the existence of a nation that stands for the things declared in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution. It is a pledge to stand firmly upon and unmoved from those principles that place the liberty and justice above even one’s own life and rights and freedoms. It is a pledge that moves one to sacrifice on behalf of others. It is a pledge that flows from a shared faith in what is right and good.

“. . . and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, . . .”

This flag stands for a united republic with a clear definition and identity. This republic is united in understanding the basis for the blessings and privileges and rights and security that its citizens enjoy. It is a nation that is founded upon the confident faith that the God of love who created and redeemed the world has established His goodness for all to enjoy, goodness that the founders of this nation did their best to secure in the founding documents. They realized that such goodness does not generate from the hearts of men but must come from above and then flows from a people grounded in this knowledge.

Such a nation is truly indivisible, as history clearly shows. But as history is also showing, when a nation loses this grounding, it becomes deeply divided.

“. . . with liberty and justice for all.

Clearly, liberty and justice must be for All, or else it crumbles. Liberty and justice flow from one source, from the One who IS Love and is just.

This is the source of the liberty and justice which have been enjoyed for generations. Any nation that recognizes this and abides by it enjoys the same freedom and beneficence.

Truly this is a pledge worthy of those who would live in unity and harmony together for the benefit of all. This is what the Flag of the United States of America represents.

Yes! I love this flag and I love this nation! God preserve us from seeing either being dragged down to the ground to be defamed or destroyed.

God bless America and cause her to continue as a blessing to all!

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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