US flag in horizonWith the recent controversy surrounding the raising and lowering of flags, one has to wonder what flags mean to us. Clearly flags are more than mere banners of cloth stitched together to look nice, but rather they are symbols which carry weight, meaning and responsibility.  If our flags do truly matter, our care of the American flag reflects how we see them in our daily lives, and how we see ourselves as Americans. According to the Flag Code, flags are the representations of living nations and therefore are living emblems themselves. Their maintenance and upkeep should mirror our allegiance to them. When caring for our U.S. flag, remember that it is not just an arrangement of stars and stripes but rather it is a symbol of unity connecting all Americans together. Our flag may be red, white and blue but it symbolizes an American heart that beats pure gold—encompassing our collective struggles, triumphs, victories, and defeats.  How we care for, maintain and protect our American flag ultimately reflects how we care for our country, ourselves and each other.

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