A symbol to unite us  

Sherry Farrell

As I’m writing our story this week, I wish I could say I thought of it myself, but first thing this Sunday morning, John announced that June 14 is Flag Day in our great country.

With everything that is going on around us, Flag Day is one day that we all need to remember. It’s OK if you didn’t think of it on the actual day, because in my book each and everyday should be Flag Day, and in our home it is. I bet when you think about it, in your home it is too.

I decided to do a little research just to see when Flag Day was established. According to the internet, Flag Day was established back in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson to honor our country.

The first flag was commissioned by George Washington. What a great thinker our first president was to realize that people would need a symbol to unite us, no matter what our background or heritage was. Pretty amazing when you think of it.

President Washington hired Betsy Ross, a seamstress (referred to back then as an upholsterer) to design our first flag. In 1777, John Adams, who I read about in John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles of Courage,” declared at the Continental Congress that our flag would have 13 stripes, be red and white to represent the 13 colonies at the time. He requested 13 stars to “represent a new constellation” a new beginning.

Throughout the years, as new states were added, so were new stars. The last star was added back in 1960 when Hawaii became our 50th state. Today our flag still has 13 stripes and 50 stars to represent the United States of America. I hope they are still teaching this in our schools.

I think President Ronald Reagan expressed it best in Time Magazine back in the 1980s, “The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish. Red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.” Eloquently said with great pride in where we have come from, what brought us here, and where we are headed.

Our flag is a symbol to all of us of democracy and our independence. Something we can never take for granted. When we stand and cover our hearts to share together the Pledge of Allegiance, it is our way to honor and remember those who have fallen and served for us.

It seems like a small thing to ask that those of us who are here today, living as Americans together as one, stand and show our strength and unity as a nation.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.


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