Recently, a friend brought it to my attention that the American flag is often seen waving at half-staff due to the tragedies this nation has faced over the past year. There are special dates the flag is lowered for remembrance, but it is often at half-staff to symbolize when the nation is in mourning together due to an unexpected circumstance. And this year, there were many times of mourning as a nation.
What is the meaning behind the flag?
USA Patriotism said, “The stars and stripes represent a new nation devoted to Liberty and built on the foundation of opportunity. The blue represents our loyalty and faith. The white the purity and nobility of a nation committed [to] equality. The red proclaims our courage and the sacrifice of our American Spirit.”
The best way Americans can honor the flag is to honor what it stands for! We should take full advantage of the free opportunities we are given, be committed to equality for all, and honor those who have fallen to give us these freedoms that didn't come free.
With the election this year, our nation's leadership will change, but the flag and what it represents remains the same. The flag is never to be idolized, but in a nation where we often disagree and are plagued by fear of the future or distraught about what we see happening around us, the flag offers a symbol of hope. When it hangs at half-staff, we can be confident our nation is united.
So next time you see a flag at half-staff, take a moment to reflect and mourn alongside the rest of America. But also remember that we will continue to go on no matter what we face for we have freedom and hope to keep us going.