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American Flag Season - Embrace the Blue

It appears there is indeed an American Flag “Season” – It starts on Memorial Day and runs through July 4. It is a short season – with a reprise in November for Veterans Day.

On the one hand, I like to see the Red, White and Blue displayed in special ways throughout American flag season…I love the kind of “patriotic” emotions evoked when I see the flag flying from porches and homes and in parks and at events.

On the other hand – I know that response is the result of manipulation, or even an idol of sorts, because it is also a reminder that Americans no longer truly “take pride” in being an American – and are perhaps even ashamed of their country’s colors. And this stands in stark contrast to the way other peoples take pride in their countries.

Even people who leave the country of their birth to come to The United States still fly flags of their “homelands” with pride – often on or in or from their automobiles for everyone to see as they zoom around town. They don’t wait for their country’s “flag season.”

And although I do see a fair number of Americans wearing “patriotic” clothing, if it is not amongst a group of likeminded individuals at a related event, to see such enthusiasm on an isolated individual is a rare view.

Given events over the past 8 years, I think people are afraid that showing any patriotism or “love of country” says more about them than they might want it to – or implies something about their person that might not actually be true. It is a sad day when one realizes patriotism has been politicized.

(And this should raise an alarm about why the values associated with American patriotism – like individual liberty – are no longer embraced by politicos.)

I will at some point in the very near future reflect on patriotism versus idolatry (for the Christian) – but as Flag Day just passed and Juneteenth is right around the corner, we are smack dab in the middle of American Flag Season…so…let’s just think about what we are representing or testifying to when we fly the American flag or wear red, white and blue.

Believe it or not, the colors did not originally have any official meaning when the flag was first adopted. Charles Tomson changed all that.

An Irish-born Patriot and founding father, Tomson was the principal designer of The Great Seal adopted by the Continental Congress on June 20, 1782. (He was also the Secretary of the Continental Congress for all 15 of its years of existence – and served as a unifying force in a very divided government.)

(Taking a look at the image now…there is quite a bit more to unwrap here, but let’s stick with the colors, shall we?)

Tomson explains the meaning and symbolism behind the details on The Great Seal.

"The colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the colour of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace & war which is exclusively vested in Congress. The Constellation denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters [figures represented as holding up the shield] to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own Virtue."

White – Purity and innocence

Red – Hardiness and valor

Blue – vigilance, perseverance, and justice

Other flags have attempted to supplant the message of the Red, White, and Blue throughout the month of June (which makes up most of the American Flag Season too).

I would love to see a resurgence within American society…a resurgence of values based on what the colors once signified: purity and innocence, hardiness and valor, vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

But as Tomson also noted, the United States of America ought to rely solely on their own virtue, and we are no longer a virtuous people. We rely on government and media to tell us what our values are or should be.

We have turned our backs on purity and innocence.

And maybe it is the GenX in me, but it seems hardiness and valor are observed less and less as we have a generation coming of age who seeks out “safe spaces,” is “triggered” by words, and is offended by the actions or opinions of complete strangers. And then believes that “shouting louder” than those with whom they disagree is the apex of valor.

Where are the brave Americans, those not afraid of being ridiculed for living according to principle, whose natural impulse is to protect human life regardless of their own personal risk?

So today I impress upon the reader to, perhaps, embrace the Blue.

Be vigilant. Don’t be taken by surprise. Know and understand the enemies of freedom. And be ready to act. And don’t put aside your principles for your passions. Persevere in living right even though it appears evil is winning, and continue to seek justice and point out injustice.

Where the media and Americans are focused on the Red versus Blue (referring to Republicans versus Democrats), maybe it is time to bring back the Red and the White – while holding tightly to the Blue.

Happy American Flag Season.

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