Thursday, 31 January 2019 16:23

COLUMN: We have a duty to teach children respect for the flag

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COLUMN: We have a duty to teach children respect for the flag Betty McIntyre - Richmond Observer

We don’t have to travel very far each day before having the privilege of passing an American flag on display. The flag represents honor, respect, freedom and pride for our country as well as helping us remember those who currently serve and those who have served our country. 

History notes that the current United States flag design is the 27th, as it has been modified 26 times before. No one knows for certain who designed the first flag, although it is believed that it was Congressman Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey. It is also believed that a woman from Philadelphia named Betsy Ross was the first flag seamstress. The first American flags designed had unusual order and arrangement of the stars as well as awkward proportions. A set arrangement and proportion of the placing of stars began to take shape in June 1777 with the First Flag Act. 

Today, the American flag has 50 stars which represent the current number of states within the Union. The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies that joined together to declare their independence from Britain in order to establish a sovereign nation for themselves. Some believe the colors red, white, and blue have significant meaning also: white being purity and innocence; red meaning hardiness and valor; and blue symbolizing vigilance, perseverance and justice. 

In saying this, there is a proper way of handling and displaying the American flag in various settings; some being local businesses, schools, homes, vehicles, uniforms, museums, special days of the year, and more. 

Early in January, Jessica Brooke Hicks passed a local school where a few students were at the flagpole to raise the flag. Hicks stated they drug the flag across the ground which greatly disturbed her. 

She expressed her concern for flag etiquette as she said, “It is disturbing to me that the flag isn’t treated with respect in some places.” She went on to say, “Several of my family members have served in the military, and my husband has put his life on the line. I think the children should know the meaning behind the flag.” 

We all have a part to fill in teaching our children the meaning behind why we honor the American flag. While the schools have a part to play, the teaching should begin at home. 

With respect for our country, let us all pull together with a common vision to honor what we have been so blessed to be a part of. 

 

Betty McIntyre is a contributor to the Richmond Observer.