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June 16, 2008
What Flag Day Means to
Resolved, that the Flag
of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red
and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field,
representing a new constellation.
With these words, on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress
adopted the flag of the United States of America. Flag Day has since
been partly eclipsed by other American traditions and holidays, and
although it is still celebrated by numerous families and in many parts
of the country, it has been forgotten by too many.
however, will never forget Flag Day. On June 14, 2005, on Flag Day three
years ago, I became a citizen of the United States. Standing on the
grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, I renounced allegiance to
any other country, swore to defend the U.S. Constitution against all
enemies, foreign and domestic, and promised to serve America in both
combat and non-combat positions if she asked me to.
making my oath, I became part of the family built by the Founding
Fathers and nurtured by generations of heroes, entrepreneurs, pastors,
fathers and mothers. And every day since, I have become even more
convinced that, when given more than 200 countries to choose from, there
is no other nation on Earth that would deserve my promise of allegiance.
But I was willing to promise risking life and limb for one land,
America. This is because, since its adoption, the U.S. flag has never in
history entered another land with the intention to steal, rape, pillage
or absorb. Quite the opposite. The U.S. flag has had a tendency, more
than any other flag, to lead American soldiers into a battle for the
freedom of foreigners. And when it did stay in those liberated lands, it
was to fly over the buried bodies of those who sacrificed everything for
other humans’ freedom and dignity.
embraced America because its Declaration of Independence recognizes that
our rights come from God, and because even its Constitution acknowledges
our Lord. I embraced it because its freedoms – economic, political,
religious – are unsurpassed in any other country. Indeed, in what other
country can you truly speak your mind without fear of a lawsuit, jail
time or worse? Don’t mention European countries, where the thought
police can prosecute you for expressing your mere opinion about certain
groups or even for your denial of historical facts.
fact, is there another flag I can fly without being mocked by its other
carriers? Though European countries would naturalize me, hardly any
would embrace and incorporate me as smoothly as the United States has. I
would be so out-of-place in the homogeneous countries in Asia, Africa
and South America that my citizenship would be a mere technicality to
the locals. Even in the Middle East, my birthplace, I would be
ruthlessly discriminated against by almost every country for my
Christian faith; or if I lived in a safe Christian pocket (as I did in
Lebanon), I would have to endure a life-long struggle against those who
constantly seek to make an Islamic state out of my homeland.
But no. I am in the one place that treats me as a valued human being,
and that has been seeking, with wild success in the last century, to
turn the rest of the world’s peoples into valued human beings as well.
And it is for this reason that I fly the flag of the United States. It
is for this reason that I will never forget Flag Day.
© 2008 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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