Flags and flagpoles

For whatever reason, over the past couple of weeks I have noticed an increase in folks around town displaying their American flags. I don’t know whether it is because we have just passed the 20th anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11, or if it has to do with the recent election, or if I just happen to notice more flags.


It seems that people are displaying their flags in different ways than before. I’ve seen pickup trucks with flags mounted on the bed, the red-white-and-blue flapping in the breeze as they drive down the road. I’ve seen front yards with the smaller flags adorning the mailboxes and walkways; and I have noticed what seems like more people putting their flags out daily on the mounted brackets on the front side of their homes, and also on the big flagpoles in their front yards.


I have always been a patriotic sort, even before 9/11/2001. Fourth of July was always one of my favorite holidays, and I loved displaying the flag and adorning my house with flags inside and out. But before, it seems no one displayed the flag all the time, except government buildings, schools, or the post office. It was almost an unwritten rule that you only displayed flags on Memorial Day, Flag Day, or the Fourth of July. I am mighty glad that tradition changed.


What I believe (or would LIKE to believe) is that people have a renewed appreciation for America, the greatest country in the world. Maybe the people showing their American flags are trying to get others to understand their adoration for this country, saying, “Let’s find a common ground. Oh, I know what it is! It is America! God bless America, the land that I love!”


During the past 20 years, many people erected flagpoles in their front yards. I read recently about a man who was a veteran and put a flagpole in his yard to fly his cherished American flag. He lived in a gated community. The association told him he had to remove it, but he refused. They fined him, and he still refused. (Good for him!!)


My mother loved to display the American flag, too. Do you remember after 9/11 when people got those little flags that would clamp onto the window of the car? Mama got those and put on both of their cars. When a flag would wear out, which happened often, she would replace it. Year after year, she replaced those little flags on the cars. She had a stockpile of those little flags, which got harder to find as time passed. She died 15 years after 9/11, and until almost the day she died, she had one of those little flags on her car.


To me, the American flag demands respect. It represents something we treasure, whether we recognize that or not. It is a symbol of our freedom, and the struggles it took to attain it. As I look at our flag, I am thankful for all those who fought to protect it, and for those who died for the sake of all of us who enjoy a country where we can make our own decisions about what is best for us as individuals, and we can vote to decide what is best for us as a nation. The flag represents the United States of America. Display it with pride.