Why celebrate Flag Day? Because the flag we honor reminds us of a host of flags that came before.
The Vikings crossed the ocean to this continent before Columbus was even born.
Their flag reminds us that we love adventure and great courage (and football rivalries).
Early adventurers brought their flags – France, Spain, England, the Netherlands. They explored and settled and lived on the land and loved it, and kept their old traditions while integrating new.
Their flags remind us that our Melting Pot was being stirred long before we were united states.
The flags of the early colonies show a nation still respecting its ties to England, but with increasing desire for autonomy.
They remind us that while we respect authority, we are in love with liberty.
When the two tangle, liberty wins.
The Don’t Tread on Me flag reminds us that we won’t suffer in silence when anyone despises that liberty.
The Pine Tree Flag that flew over the Battle of Bunker Hill reminds us how much we love the land, and of our responsibility to care for it so it can care for us.
The flag of the Alamo tells we don’t give up, even in hopeless situations.
The Pathfinder Flag was carried by explorers into the unknown west, its eagle clutching a peace pipe. It led many native tribes to make trusting treaties, which we didn’t always honor.
It reminds us that in ‘uncharted territory’ rich civilizations had been flourishing for hundreds of years.
It reminds us that the best-intentioned nation can do wrong, and we should demand that we be a people of honor.
These flags and what they represent are all inextricably bound in the flag we honor today.
It is a symbol.
It points to the past and reminds us how we got here.
It points to the future and directs us how to get there.
It is a flag worthy of honor.