Throughout my life I have been consistently intrigued by the power of symbols and symbolic communication. Whether it is with carefully crafted words, brilliant artwork, or the standard of a nation, symbols can quickly and succinctly communicate a multitude of messages to us. Of all the symbols that are in the world around us, few elicit the emotional responses that a flag does. The flag communicates so much with such elegant simplicity. It represents the history of a nation, its values, its hopes for the future, and the highest ideals that move it toward its ultimate destiny in the world. The flag brings back memories of victories won, of accomplishments achieved, and of challenges overcome. It reminds us of the foundations upon which we are built, and then impels us onward to new achievements in the ongoing chapters of our nation's history. Our flag graces the tops of our most important government buildings and monuments, and greets us each morning in classrooms around the country. When we come home from abroad, the flag waves its welcome to us from the port of entry. The flag leads our young men in battle, reminding them of home and the loved ones they are defending. In honored glory it also accompanies our dead, reverently covering them in its folds as they make their final journey home. In moments of celebration, the flag is a bouyant and cheerful symbol of national pride and joy as it is waved from the hands of children and from the homes of each proud citizen. In moments of mourning, nothing speaks so eloquently of national sorrow as a flag at half mast.
The flag of the United States of America was created 231 years ago on June 14, 1777. Since that day it has told the story of our nation, and how we have gone from 13 rebellious colonies to 50 united states.
Happy Birthday Old Glory!