Amazing Kids! Magazine

What the US Flag Means to Me

By Preston Cody, age 16, Oxford, Alabama

 

The highest representation of our honor and pride, and most significantly our freedom, the American Flag, adopted in 1777, waves down to the United States with great gracefulness and rises tall on a pole with historic justification. In my eyes, this American symbol has become an exponentially profound example of what we, as a nation, sacrifice to keep our citizens and homeland safe and healthy. When I reflect on its definition, and what it means to be a proud American, I feel immense grief for the lives it took to offer us everything that we most often take for granted: our liberty, our comfort, and our peace.

Soldiers, dead and alive, have kept the purpose of the American Flag a living reality in the hopes that tomorrow will continue to be filled with the same prosperity and democracy we are able to enjoy today. Which leads me to believe truly in my heart – if the flag is to tell our union anything, it should be to recognize those who serve our nation and defend it with their lives! After all, it is the people who fight and courageously stand their ground for our independence who ultimately deserve our thanks for our red, white, and blue insignia. They have been the rock that has kept the promises of our flag in all its nobility and stature; moreover, our guardians who protect and watch over our nation’s well-being, all while giving up crucial life luxuries and precious time with love ones – especially time spent with their children. It is for this reason that I pledge my allegiance to the flag and take a moment of silence every day in school to honor the dedicated and good-hearted men and women who hold our nation’s fate, and our fate, individually in their hands.

But before all my other preconceived meanings, there is one specific meaning that holds a golden spotlight above all the rest. There is heart behind what those soldiers do, there is love, there is selflessness. So when I look at that majestic flag, I do not only remind myself of what sacrifice it took, but I also remind myself of the love it took to do what they did, and what they continue doing every day for our country.  and because of their love, it has brought me to love this land; the land of the free and the brave. We must maintain high regard for our nation’s flag and respect it, or else we are disrespecting our troops and the title we claim for ourselves. Knowing this, the one word that gives the stars and stripes my loyalty and its glory can only be fulfilled by one word: love. They fight, and we pay our respects to the flag, for them, because we love this wonderful land.