The flag we pledge to
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Flags are a symbol most of us are so familiar with; they almost seem to blend into the scenery. We see flags everyday. Some represent small things like movements and organizations while others represent much bigger things, like an entire nation. And it is those flags that need to be addressed, particularly our nation’s flag. The stars and stripes have represented this great nation for hundreds of years. It’s a symbol that surrounds us, in our schools, our workplaces, and our homes.
Sadly, the familiarity of this flag is beginning to turn against us. It seems silly that something so simple could represent us so much, but for many people the flag is a symbol that represents them and everything they stand for. It represents freedom, liberty, and justice. It represents the American dream, the ability to make something out of yourself, and most of all, pride in one’s country. But times are changing. No longer do people stand tall and salute this symbol with pride. Instead, they mumble the pledge of allegiance. They slouch when they face the flag. They whisper the national anthem. And this, dear reader, is a crying shame.
Americans should be proud of a country that gives them so many rights other people would, and have, died for. Freedom of expression, speech, press . . . these are all things that millions of people live every day without. Americans have the ability to make something out of themselves with nothing if they are willing to work for it, yet people still take this for granted.
For some, all of these incredible freedoms mean nothing. And why? Because some are rich and some are poor? Because there are groups of people being “oppressed”? The rich work for their money. That is simply how the system is set up. And I fail to see how women can call themselves oppressed when women in third world countries are beaten, killed, and treated like dogs. I fail to see how we could rebel against a future president we dislike when there are leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un who do nothing but take advantage of and oppress their own people. Americans are not oppressed; they are spoiled. We have lost sight of the things that makes America different from the rest. Americans live with a standard that people from other countries can only dream of. And yet this is not enough.
In rebellion we burn the flag, and with the flag, we burn ourselves. The American flag represents so much for so many people and yet people still have the audacity to burn it.
America needs to change. We need to straighten up, take our hats off, and put our hands proudly over our hearts, and proudly announce who we are and what we stand for. We need to look at the flag that represents everything we have worked to create and see our hearts in the stars and our souls in the stripes. The flag represents us: America. A country built for those who can succeed. A country that is good to hard workers. A country that lets you speak freely, love freely, and live freely.
This is my country. This is your country. This is our country. And we should treat it that way. There will always be conflict. There will always be sadness, errors, debt, depression. All of these things will continue to come and go, but we will stand tall. We will work together and rise up, as one united country. Because alone, we are weak. But together? Together we are strong. Together we are powerful. Together we are not the cities of America, not the towns of America, but the United States of America. Together we stand.
Today, tomorrow, forever.