July 4th, 2022 is still about a week away as I write this, but I’m seeing more American flags than usual.
When I see one waving and flying I’m so glad I live in a free country. Even in the face of current controversy, our country remains a wonderfully blessed and free nation, and we owe much to this year despite inflation and supply shortages.
What does our American flag mean to you? Words like pride, sacrifice, freedom and hope come to mind.
The colors of our flag – red, white and blue – are a symbol of freedom and liberty. I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school, hand on heart, standing at attention and facing the flag.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the republic it represents, one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
For me it was a daily symbolism of faith and love for our country.
Our flag was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 to celebrate the country’s independence and unity. In June 1782, the Continental Congress revealed the meaning of colors.
Red represents resilience, bravery, courage and sacrifice. White represents purity and innocence, blue represents justice for all, as well as vigilance, perseverance and justice.
This reminds me of Johnny Cash and his popular song in 1974’s “Ragged Old Flag.” This tribute was written when the American leadership was at a crossroads with the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal dividing our country.
Cash’s song tells the story of a visitor meeting an old man in a town square, they talk about what both the flag and the country have been through together. The song reflects Cash’s patriotism and love for America.
Our flag has been burned, disregarded and ridiculed, yet it waves proudly, reminding us of its strength and steadfastness and of the men and women here and there who fought for our freedoms. I greet you!
The true meaning of July 4th lies in the Declaration of Independence, which is the fundamental document of democracy. Our Declaration of Independence, I believe, gives us the true meaning of a patriot, someone who supports our country’s ideals, not necessarily its government.
The Founding Fathers believed that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed and were mandated by the people to ensure everyone’s equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The people come first, not the government.
Should we as humans welcome the expansion of state power at the expense of personal liberty? Should our government tell people where to live, where to raise their children, what hospital or doctor to go to for health care, or what medical care a person is entitled to?
My answer is no, this is not the America I grew up in.
When discussing the past and the future, we must resist trendy political nonsense and focus on long-term goals for our children and grandchildren. There are no brilliant new concepts for social life, people today are no different from those of ancient Rome or Greece, and we must recognize that human nature and needs have changed little over time.
We must work for a fair, unforgiving and just, but not overly sensitive society. Life will have potholes and bumps, but these cannot be smoothed out unless one wants to live in a virtual world and not this one.
As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “A house divided cannot stand”. If we are wise, we will find a way to resolve our differences and move forward.
We are the heirs of a great country and a great and generous people. In the words of Charles Dickens Tiny Tim, “God bless us all.”
God bless the US.
— Sandi Y. Squicquero M.Ed.,.LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor working at the Medical Hypnosis and Counseling Center at 1180 Main St., Suite 5B in Windsor. She has over 30 years of experience as a counselor and is certified in medical hypnosis.
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/07/03/opinion-sandi-squicquero-one-flag-one-country/ One Flag, One Country – Greeley Tribune