Monday, May 30, 2011

"Old Glory" = Freedom For All

By: Shannon Hall
     Memorial Day. Barbeques, an extra day off from work or school, concerts, and other fun events. When I look around my friend's backyard (while he tries to pretend that he is Bobby Flay on the grill) I notice that his and many other backyards are decorated with the flag or the colors of the flag. Many people associate the flag with Memorial Day but do they really know the true meaning of the flag and what it really stands for?
     The American flag goes by many names, "Old Glory", "Stars and Stripes" and the "Star Spangled Banner". Whatever you want to call it the flag has the same meaning for everyone in America. Young and old, rich or poor, not matter what nationality you are, all Americans recognize the flag as America's symbol for freedom.
     Every Memorial Day and Veteran's Day flags are hung as a reminder of the men and women who have died serving our country and protecting our right to freedom. But how did it all come about? Who thought of the flag?
     In 1776 George Washington asked Betsy Ross to sew the first American flag. The colors were to be red, white and blue. When I was in school we were taught that the red stripes stood for the blood that was shed during the American Revolution, white stood for bravery and blue was for honor. The first flag had thirteen stars in the blue field, one for each of the original colonies. Today there are fifty stars, one for each state in the United States.
     Since that time the flag has been revered as our symbol of freedom. Betsy Ross sewed it, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem about it after it survived the bombing of Fort McHenry, songs have been written about it, children and adults pledge their allegiance to it. And most moving of all are the men and women who have it placed on their graves because they gave their lives for it. We have seen images and videos of troops laying down their weapons to pick up the fallen flag on the battlefield and carry it into battle. There are even rules for how to hang the flag, how to fold the flag, and how not to show the flag. For instance, you are never to wear the flag as a shirt or hat.
     Whatever the reason the flag was chosen as our symbol of freedom it is one that is known all across the country by people of all ages. I would like to thank all the men and women who believe in this symbol so much that they are willing to risk their lives so that I may have the freedom that makes America what it is.



  1. Mike RothenburgerMay 30, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Wow! Thank you very much, what a really nice tribute.

  2. Wow too. =] Thanks for contributing to our troops and the United States. I appreciate your recognition very much. This was a touching subject.God Bless to our troops.

  3. I enjoyed reading this because it reminded me much of my home country and its own national flag. The Liberian flag looks very similar to the American flag, it also has red and white stripes with a white star in the top left corner. Similar to the American flag, the red in the Liberian flag also symbolizes the blood that was shed for freedom. The white and blue in the Liberian also represent the peace and courage of the Liberian people. Also, both the American and Liberian flags are supposed to be treated with respect and not dropped on the ground. I also thought it was interesting that Shannon said we are not supposed to wear the flag as a shirt or hat, when it is clear that so many people do.

    Emmanuel Kollie

  4. Fatoumata NdiayeMay 31, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    I really like this post and i really enjoyed reading it too because i have gained some knowledge about the American flag.It really gave me a better undrestand of the true meaning and the history of the American flag. Thank you for that.
    A flag represent freedom in every country, so i think everybody should respect it as it is a "precious" symbol.

  5. Wow, that was great Shannon! That was so interesting and everyone needs to know that. When my children were in school I made them tell me what each holiday meant and if they couldn't I made them do the research to find out. If you don't know what each holiday means than you need to find out. Each holiday is full of history, is interesting to know and is worth knowing about. I see that you did your research and you did a great job.

  6. I absolutely love this post. Recognition should be made to what each in every holiday means; as well as something so symbolic as the American Flag. So many people really do look at Memorial Day and other holidays with similar meanings, as an excuse to cook out or as an extra day off. Of course we appreciate the benefits that come along with the holidays, but so often the true meaning gets lost. Unless we're reminded of the sacrifice, struggle and blood shed that so many have made, we tend to forget why these holidays are even in existence. So many lives have been lost in battle, and they deserve to be recognized. We must also remember those who unknowingly were thrown into the line of fire. I believe the victims of 9/11 died on the front line as well. We should also salute and pay tribute to them on holidays that pay homage to
    the people that gave their lives for this country. The catostrophic events of 9/11 will forever be memorialized, as are the the countless veterans that have and are still sacrificing their lives for our country. One constant reminder is our flag. No matter what day of the year, you can find The American Flag hung proudly, whether in a school or on someone's front porch. It's up to us to help educate and remind people of the true meaning of our nation's stars & stripes. Thank u for the reminder.