Yesterday was Flag Day. I posted on Facebook an image of a flag waving proudly with a message about it being Flag Day. One of my friends in jest suggested that I put away my flag before I offend a fellow American! I replied: Oh, YES, SIR I WILL GLADLY offend any American who does not appreciate our flag and what it stands for! And then a couple of emails came. : /
They could not believe that I would willingly offend a fellow American with my flag and what it stood for. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I got to thinking about it. Why not?? A flood of thoughts came to my mind about why I would willingly offend a professing American who does not appreciate our flag and what it stood for.
For ALL of our faults, I believe America is still the greatest nation in which I live. I believe that our nation represents and parallels a time similar to which God sent Abram to an unknown land, assuring him that He is choosing him and his wife, Sarai, to be the parents of His chosen people, even though they were barren. God needed to remove them from their familiar land, their family, their customs and cultures, so that He can give them a new life full of blessings. Our beginnings consisted of people who left their homes, their families, their cultures and their customs (although carrying some of them), to begin a new life in an unknown land.
Our colonies started much like the tribes of Israel. For the most part, each colony (tribe) had their own way of governing themselves, even among native inhabitants of the foreign land. This went on for about a hundred years, and then it became important to join the colonies together against a common enemy. This is much like Moses being chosen to free the Israelites from the Egyptian pharaoh. God gave them the victory; God delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians. Despite insufficient resources, God delivered the colonies (like the Hebrews) from Europe/England (like Egypt) and they gained their Independence.
Like the birth of the Law of Moses to the Israelites, the birth of our Constitution gave us an identity as the United States of America.
It took a little time before the people Israel were given the Laws of Moses. These laws were what helped create unity in a people. Not that the laws were always obeyed, but the uniqueness of the laws set these people apart. There universal laws (common laws which were divinely understood by mankind) and then there are laws of a people. In this case, we're speaking of the people of Israel. Some of the laws mentioned in the Talmud pertain to the making of the sons of Levi' priesthood raiment and the prayer shawl. From the inspiration of the prayer shawl eventually comes the flag of Israel.
Unlike Israel, our national flag came before our national constitution. The history of our American flag is an interesting study, in my opinion. The celebration of Flag Day is one of many reminders of how we've grown as a nation, encompassing everything about our nation. Our flag identifies not only our nation as a whole, but it also uniquely acknowledges our individual states that make up this nation via stars, and even stripes! Our flag acknowledges our beginnings (the 13 stripes for our 13 colonies) and our contemporary standing now (50 stars for all 50 states that make up our nation). While our colors were not clearly defined when our flag was developed, the Congress of Confederation in 1782 noted meaning for these same colors when developing the Great Seal of the United States. WHITE stood for purity and innocence, RED stood for valor and hardiness, and BLUE stood for vigilance, perseverance and justice. George Washington is often said to believe that the stars were taken from the skies, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified secession from the home/mother land. The original 13 stars were circular to indicate equality of the colonies-states, that none should be viewed above another.
For the fair youth of our nation, we have a very rich history initially developed by a determined people, passed onto determined generations, who learned how to live, and how to govern, and even how to be governed. Our United States Constitution is an extremely unique document which has seen very little change up to today. Our Constitution represents how we live, how we govern, and how we celebrate our history. While it seems to be hotly debatable, our Constitution largely represents the Providence of God for our nation. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD." ~Psalm 33:12~ In our freedoms expressed by our founding fathers, we are a blessed nation from the smallest of us to the greatest among us.
Our flag represents EVERYTHING about America--our liberties, our blessings, our charity, our victories--EVERYTHING. Unlike our constitution, our flag is easily accessible for individuals to express our pride and patriotism in this greatest nation called The United States of America. To say that you are an American and you take these things for granted to the point that you are offended by our flag, and what we stand for, can be seen as treasonous. But we are a genteel, civilized folk...we can humbly escort you off our shores.