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The American Flag: Universal Symbol of Freedom

Each year, Americans honor our veterans on four special holidays. They include: Memorial Day recognizes veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice; Armed Forces Day recognizes active-duty service members and veterans in each branch of service; and Veterans Day that began as a remembrance of those lost in World War I and of the international peace we hoped that war would bring, but expanded to remember veterans of all wars American soldiers have served.

The fourth special day, Flag Day, is recognized June 14 to honor another veteran–a faithful comrade that has accompanied every service member to battlefields in virtually every corner of the globe. For more than two centuries, this veteran has always been there, our comfort and proud reminder at every cemetery where soldiers are buried, in our schools, and in our halls of government.

Of course, that friend is the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory–our flag, always faithful and decked out in glorious parade dress uniform.

Old Glory has guided and comforted countless soldiers, citizens, and school children through the best and the worst of times. Undoubtedly, each of us can recall an example of the flag that evokes strong emotions–in a parade, at a funeral for a loved one, on the battlefield, at half mast for a fallen leader, or over an embassy in a foreign land. So, let’s take time on June 14, Flag Day, to hoist up, salute, and give Old Glory the respect and recognition it deserves.