June 14

Reflection

On this Flag Day, in a country that is ideologically more divided than ever, let us remember our flag as a symbol of the many struggles to keep the American dream alive, of the reputation of this nation abroad, and as a symbol of the unifying founding principles for which it stands. Let us not just use the flag for a judgmental and shallow patriotism. Let us not become outraged at presumed disrespect for the flag or the anthem but sit quietly in the face of actions that dismantle the core principles for which they stand. Our flag of red, white and blue is just cloth, but it reminds us of the principles we hold as Americans: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. All of these are being compromised today in overt ways. To use the flag or anthem as a test of patriotism and yet undermine what they symbolize is arrogant hypocrisy.  Countless unique individuals, at great personal cost, have worked toward the goal of weaving our country into “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”  It is up to us now to have the clear minded honesty and outspoken courage to preserve these values.

Prayer

God guide and bless America.

Action

Try to look objectively at what is being said and written in the American political discourse of the present time. What is true to our stated principles? What demeans our values and integrity as a nation? What is destroying the systems on which our democracy is based? Where do you stand?

Suggested Reading

This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation .Though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.
President Woodrow Wilson

America is much more than a geographical fact.  It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.
Adlai Stevenson 

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God.
Franklin Roosevelt

This, then, is the state of the union free and restless, growing and full of hope.
So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.
Lyndon B. Johnson

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.
Theodore Roosevelt

We need a new spirit of community, a sense that we are all in this together, or the American Dream will continue to wither. Our destiny is bound up with the destiny of every other American.
Bill Clinton

The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.
Barack Obama

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

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