This coming Tuesday in the USA is Flag Day. It’s the day that we stop and remember the journey our flag has gone through and the people who have given their all for it and our country. As I was thinking about Flag Day it got me thinking about lots of things about flags in general. I shared a few on the business blog post this past week and will share a few more thoughts in my business newsletter this week, but today I wanted to talk a bit about the flag and what it means for our lives.
The concept of flags is really a simple one, it’s a visual way of bringing together people from a certain group and a way to identify those who are aligned with that group. It’s a way we honor the past, a way of celebrating the things that unite us and a reminder for what we are working towards in the future, or of things in the past that we’re building a new future on. Whenever we see an American flag it should remind us of the men and women who have made all kinds of sacrifices for our freedoms that we enjoy and treasure, and occasionally take for granted.
Flags that you personally relate with should be a source of pride, it shouldn’t be something that fills us with hate when we see it or ambivalence. We should want to raise it high, know its history, and display it proudly. We should want to support and know about the men and women who have played a role in its creation and have worked and do work to keep it flying. That doesn’t mean that you have to salute every flag you see, have one hanging in every room or attend every parade, but on special holidays for Americans like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, 9/11, and Veteran’s Day you should fly a flag or even just put out a small one in a pot on your balcony if you can’t really hang one.
But just because you don’t know the history behind a flag and it’s not “your” flag, it doesn’t mean you can’t be respectful of it and the people who are proud of it (as long as it doesn’t represent bad things). If you meet someone who is proudly displaying a flag you’re not familiar with I encourage you to ask them about it and hear the story behind it and what it means to them. And I invite you to share the stories of your flag(s) in the comments section today too!
What flag will you proudly fly on Flag Day?