Flag Day doesn't get a lot of attention, but we should take some time to think about our flag

By Gary Abernathy

It’s Flag Day, and we should think about that

Today is Flag Day, and typically it’s treated as a lesser holiday, with far less attention than other patriotic days like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or Veterans Day. It’s not a federal holiday with paid time off.

I’m not someone who invokes a “super patriot” viewpoint very often. I think the word “patriot” is too often weaponized to mean “America, love it or leave it,” which is a phrase often rolled out to mean, “Agree with everything I think or leave the country.” We should be able to agree that we love this country while still admitting it’s got problems that need to be fixed.

But in agreeing on that, we should never dishonor our flag. Yes, it’s just a piece of cloth. But it’s also a symbol that stands for the ideals we strive for — even when we fall short — and represents fellow Americans who, through the ages, have risked or given their lives for all the freedoms we enjoy today. That phrase — “the freedoms we enjoy today” — is rolled out so often it can sound trite, or be taken for granted. Please dwell on it for a few seconds. Any freedoms that we enjoy today have literally been paid for by those who have risked or, in many cases, given their lives so we can continue to enjoy them. Without those risks and sacrifices, we would not be free. We would be under the domination and control of some form of dictatorship.

The flag represents our freedom, and those who have guaranteed it. That’s why kneeling during the National Anthem, which honors our nation, our flag, and those who have fought for us, is always disrespectful, no matter what reason is given. Yes, it’s your right to do that — but that right was guaranteed by the people who risked or gave their lives for you. So if dishonoring them by dishonoring the anthem or the flag is ok with you, well, go for it.

Red Skelton (for our young people, he was one of our great comedians and most talented overall entertainers who did many movies and starred in a popular network TV show for 20 years) did a presentation on the Pledge of Allegiance and our flag that is always worth watching. Check it out above.

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