By Alden L. Benton
It is 2012 and the presidential campaign is in full swing. It is only mid-June and everyone except political operatives and the media is suffering from election fatigue.
The candidates are slinging mud at each other, and anything else they can find. Tons of rubber chicken and beets have been consumed at fundraisers where each candidate, like children in a school yard, boast that their ideas, their record, their fill-in-the-blank is better than the other’s. It is all part of the grand quadrennial display of constitutional republican government.
However, amid all the hoopla, campaigning, and political horse hockey, many Americans have overlooked the fact today is a special day — Flag Day.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag of the United States. Though the adoption of the flag had been commemorated locally for years, June 14 did not become Flag Day until President Wilson issued a presidential proclamation in 1916. June 14 became National Flag Day when President Truman signed legislation in 1949.
The flag is more than the standard of our nation. It is a symbol of the principles, the founding principles, which have guided America since its inception. It is the symbol of freedom and liberty wherever it may fly.
The American flag has thirteen horizontal stripes that alternate between dark red and white representing the 13 original colonies. The fifty white stars against a navy blue background represent the current fifty states that comprise the United States of America. The white represents purity; red, strength and valor; and blue, vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
When I was a child, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Today in much of America that ritual has been abandoned or forgotten. The Supreme Court says we can’t make children recite it and there are myriad miscreants who find the mere utterance of the pledge offensive. Flag Day is the time to reestablish that ritual and remind our young people, and those who teach them, just what our flag represents.
No, America is not perfect; it is a work-in-progress. We have made mistakes, but at the core, we live in an extraordinary place where we can pursue, and achieve, great dreams.
However, our dreams, and the dreams of our ancestors, are in danger as the cult of America-haters within our society have, for at least the past 60 years, systematically weakened the values and virtues that have made this nation strong, vital, and exceptional among the nations of the world.
America does not need a fundamental transformation. It needs some fine tuning so that ordered liberty will flourish. That fine tuning begins with a return to traditional principles of both limited government and maximum morality.
Ordered liberty demands that we respect one another, including everyone’s rights and property, as well as behaving in a moral and ethical manner. To act in any other manner endangers liberty and opens the door to tyranny. This change will not come from government, for the sole purpose of government is to coerce behavior through force. Rather, it must come from us.
Start today by proudly displaying our flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with respect, reverence, and above all, pride.
And to my readers who live abroad, read the words of the Pledge of Allegiance and contemplate their meaning.
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.
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© 2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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