“I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.” - John Thune
“The emblem of equal rights. It means free hands, free lips, self-government, and the sovereignty of the individual.” - Robert Ingersoll
“You can't appreciate home till you've left it, money till it's spent, your wife until she's joined a woman's club, nor Old Glory till you see it hanging on a broomstick on a shanty of a consul in a foreign town.” - O. Henry
So, why do we fly the flag?
A symbol means as much to anyone as what they attach to it, and for many of us the Stars and Stripes is the ultimate symbol and expression of what it means to be an American. For almost 250 years, Americans have had our ups and downs, our good times and difficult times, but the flag has prevailed through our entire history.
We can disagree with each other without being disagreeable. We have the right to speak our minds without being persecuted or imprisoned for our views. We have the right to worship where we choose – or not to worship at all if that’s our choice.
We have the right to set our own course and chase our own dreams, making a living how we want to and watching out for ourselves and our families. That’s the America that the rest of the world knows, and it’s the image that keeps people coming to our country to make better lives for themselves.
And through it all, there’s the flag. The flag reflects that entire legacy and is the marker of our culture that endures through good times and bad times. For many of us, this is what it means when we fly the flag at our homes, businesses and schools.What does the flag mean to you? Reflect on it the next time that you raise the flag, and remember what it means to be an American, with everything that goes with it. In the end, that’s what we all are.