The following is from our local congressman. IMHO it is a pretty good read.
One of my very favorite things about summer both at home and in
Washington is the prevalence of the American flag. It seems that Americans
fly their flags with pride during the summer more than any other season.
Indeed, the colors of the summer seem to be red, white, and blue.
There are many traditions associated with our flag. One of my favorites was
found in a military journal titled CAN DO from the Navy Seabee Veterans of
America, Inc. Have you ever noticed how the honor guard pays meticulous
attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times? Like me, you
probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but it turns
out that the reason behind this act is much more symbolic and meaningful.
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life. The second fold is a
symbol of our belief in eternal life. The third fold is made in honor and
remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their
lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting
in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time
of war for His divine guidance. The fifth fold is a tribute to our
country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, Our Country, in dealing with
other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country,
right or wrong. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our
heart that We 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. The seventh fold is a
tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we
protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be
found within or without the boundaries of our republic. The eighth fold is
a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death,
that we might see the light of day. The ninth fold is a tribute to
womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love,
loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made
this country great has been molded. The tenth fold is a tribute to the
father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for defense of our
country since they were first born. The eleventh fold represents the lower
portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the
Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The twelfth fold
represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God
the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. The thirteenth fold, or when the
flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our
nation’s motto, In God We Trust.
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the
appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served
under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served
under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and
shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the
rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
For Americans, the flag is a prideful representation of the blessings that
have been bestowed on our country. It reminds us that freedom isn’t
and hasn’t ever been free and that it is our obligation to share our
blessings and promote freedom to all corners of the world. The vast
majority of Americans, 80 percent, and all 50 of our state legislatures
believe the flag should be protected.
Almost twenty years ago the Supreme Court essentially ruled in favor of
allowing flag burning here at home. In a 1989 decision that overturned 200
years of precedent, the court struck down all laws that prohibit flag
desecration. Given the misguided Supreme Court ruling, the only way we can
protect this great American symbol is through amending the Constitution.
Opponents of the measure claim flag burning should be protected as an
exercise of free speech. To these individuals I would argue that burning
the flag is not a form of constructive speech but an act of physical
assault. The American Bald Eagle is another great symbol of American pride
and freedom, yet shooting one of these magnificent birds is illegal, even
in the name of free speech.
America is the freest country in the world, and its citizens have the right to
express dissent in myriad ways. Exercising one’s right to free speech
by destroying one of the very icons of that right need not be one of them.
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. Today it is a reminder of times of crisis when
American’s have persevered though wars and attacks on our soil. It
is a sign of the strength and resolve of the American people who have lost
loved ones for the ideals symbolized in those 50 stars and 13 stripes. The
American flag recognized throughout the globe as a symbol of hope, justice,
freedom, and democracy.