Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Long May It Wave


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1892-1923

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

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1923-1954

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

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1954-Present

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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A brief history of the pledge can be found here.
A brief history about the day can be found here.
A brief history about the flag can be found here.

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Stories regarding burning of the flag as an act of protest against the country are numerous. A local radio announcer recorded this essay about respecting this country's most important and visible symbol (transcription is mine):
Hello. Remember me? Some people call me Old Glory. Others call me the Star-Spangled Banner. But, whatever they call me, I'm your flag--the flag of the United States of America. Something has been bothering me. I thought I might talk it over with you, because it's about you and me.

I remember some time ago people would line up on both sides of the street to watch the parade. Naturally, I was leading every one of them, proudly waving in the breeze. When your Daddy saw me coming, he removed his hat, placed it over his left shoulder so that his hand was over his heart. Remember? And you. I remember you standing there, straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the right salute. Remember your little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you, with her right hand over her heart. Remember?

What happened? I'm still the same old flag. Oh, I've added a few more stars since you were a boy. A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago. But now, somehow, I don't feel as proud as I used to feel. Now when I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets. You may give me a small glance, then you look away. I see children running around you shouting; they don't seem to know who I am. I saw one man take his hat off and then he looked around; and when he didn't see anyone else take their hat off, he quickly put his back on again.

Is is a sin to be patriotic today? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I have been? Take a look at the memorial honor rolls; see the names of those patriotic Americans who gave their lives to keep this Republic free. When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Well, it won't be long until I'm coming down your street again. So when you see me, please--stand straight, place your hand over your heart, and I'll know that you remember. I'll salute you by waving back.
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Originally posted 6/14/2006.
Re-posted 6/14/2011.

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