Recently I’ve seen multiple articles where flying the flag is viewed as divisive. If you fly the flag, one person said, it screams racism, white privilege, elitism.
Oh, heck no.
My parents came to the US as immigrants. I watched them go through the process of becoming citizens and on the day it happened, we threw a party. It was a grand celebration. They were Dutch Americans, and so proud.
When my Haitian children came to the US and received their US Citizenship papers, it was a celebration. They were Haitian Americans, and so proud.
We flew the flag. We flew it proudly. For many reasons. We flew it because of the past – because American troops laid down their lives to help free my mom from a Japanese concentration camp at the end of World War II. We flew it because of the present – we were proud to be part of a country that gave us an avenue to become citizens. We flew it for the simple reason that we love this country.
And so I refuse to be ashamed.
The flag represents the profound physical beauty of this country – the mountains, valleys, cities, shores, farmland…
The flag represents the freedom of multiple fractions of people expressing vastly different views – and still standing together because of that freedom to do so.
The flag represents the countless men and women of every color and nationality who have laid down their lives for noble purposes, to fight battles, stand for the weak, serve their country.
The flag represents the ongoing fight to fix injustice, buoy equality, strengthen and equip the poor and forgotten.
The flag represents the beauty of looking at our country’s history and righting wrongs, but not completely negating the things we did right.
When we make the flag the symbol of hatred, we suffer a massive identity crisis that actually takes away our freedom to keep fighting for good.
I will not let other people tell me that it’s somehow wrong to love my country. I can disagree with her, but I will not abandon her. God planted me here and I will fight for her. I will stand with her and not against her as she goes through these growing pains. I will do my part to right injustice. I will battle racism. I will love the poor. I will live my love for Jesus and people. And I will do that all under the flag of the beautiful melting pot that is the United States of America.
Our flag should represent unity, not division.
In this home it is so, and I will fly her high.