Why I fly my flag

On this anniversary of September 11, 2001, I raised my United States flag to the bracket on the porch column. It was still early, but I knew that many of my neighbors would join me in this solemn act of remembrance of those dark hours a decade ago.

As I stood there a moment and gazed at those stars and stripes, I thought about all of the things that the flag represents. For a moment, I felt an uneasiness. Some of my dear friends won’t be flying a flag today — or any day, for that matter. Displaying this flag, they say, is an endorsement for all of the evil things that have been done by this country.

I readily and sadly admit that this great nation has, from time to time, fallen victim to decisions and policies that have been foolish, self-centered, and even savage. I mourn those lapses in character and I groan slightly each day as I see men and women continue to pursue vestiges of power, wealth, and influence in total disregard for others.

No human institution can withstand critical review. Whether it’s my government, my alma mater, my workplace, my family, or even my local church, I can point to moments of failure. But because of my connection, I am drawn to do more than criticize — I’m compelled to engage and improve wherever I can.

Through my study window, I can see my flag slightly billowing in the mild breeze. I’m not naive. I can see the shadows of ugliness that these patches of red, white, and blue have covered throughout the years. However, I can’t help but see — and even feel — the potential that is embroidered there.

I fly my flag to remember . . . and to dream of a time that people will pursue peace for every nation and every man, woman, and child. My hope and prayer is that citizens of every nation fly their flags in this common cause.  And that we can all be cured of blind allegiance.

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