Today is Flag Day in America. As we spend time celebrating and remembering, let’s reflect on what the flag should mean to us as a country. We, as a country, started with the hopes and dreams of being free to worship as we chose. We wanted freedom to speak as we chose. We wanted to be able to have a different government without the tyrannical rule that we left.
The flag is something that should be a reminder of the wars we fought to maintain our freedom. It should be a reminder of the unity we should have. It should be a reminder of how we, as a country, don’t give up.
If you talk to someone who is a Veteran or has been involved with The Military in some way, you would know that the flag is held with High Revere. It is not something they would want to be disrespected, dropped or drug on the ground, trampled on, burnt, or even torn. The flag has a high regard that when it is time for it to be replaced, there is places for the worn flag to be taken so that it would be disposed of in a proper, respectful way.
You would think that as I write this, that in a sense the flag is an idol of sorts. To some it may be, however, it is something many use as a reminder of how God wants to work in a nation.
Things we should be concerned about:
We are dividing as a Country
We are slowly giving up the rights/freedoms that many have fought hard for
We are disrespecting the Authority that has been placed over us, and yes, God is the one who put that authority in place.
We are no longer holding our heads up as a Country that has blessings from God, but instead, we are bowing our heads in shame because of the ill content we hold for others.
We are no longer looked to as a Great Nation but in fact, as a nation that should be ashamed.
We no longer are working on creating laws to protect our freedoms, as well as no longer enforcing the laws that were created to do so, but now are allowing others to influence us in how we should run things.
If we look at how what we have done with our freedoms as a country and compare them to what God ahs Provided us, we may see similarities.
God gave us Choice to Follow Him but we chose sin: Romans 3:23 (NKJV): for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
God hoped we would follow Him but instead we give into the Ruler of this world: John 8:44 (NKJV): You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
God desires unity in The Body of Christ but instead we choose to be against each other: James 4:1-6 (NKJV): Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Let’s as a Country repent from the division that is going on within. Let’s also repent and return to following God.
I want to share dome things with you on closing.
First, this Poem:
I Am the Flag Of America by Howard Schnauber
I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant,
I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am honored – I am saluted.
I am loved – I am revered.
I am respected – and I am feared.
I have fought in every battle
of every war
for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge,
Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appamatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest,
Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and
KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.
I was there.
I led my troops, I was dirty, battleworn and tired,
But my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the
streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt for I am a symbol of love and freedom.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and
trampled in the streets of my country.
And when it’s done by those
Whom I’ve served in battle – it hurts.
But I shall overcome – for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth
and stood watch over the uncharted
frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent
at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.
Yet, I am humble. I know that my greatness comes from God.
I know that God’s blessing is what makes my country great.
History of American Flag.
For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity. It’s been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. And the American Flag has been a prominent icon in our national history. Here are the highlights of its unique past.
On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington’s control. On that New Year’s Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).
In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.
On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
- Act of January 13, 1794 – provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
- Act of April 4, 1818 – provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
- Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 – established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
- Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
- Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.
Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
The History Of Flag Day
The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America’s birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as ‘Flag Birthday’, or ‘Flag Day’.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as ‘Flag Day’, and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.
Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.
In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
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Any scripture referenced here is taken from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted