I am the American flag. The Stars and Stripes. Old Glory. I am thirteen stripes, seven red alternating with six white to represent the original 13 colonies, with a white star on a blue background for each state. The colors are also those of the British and French flags; two countries that, in their own way each contributed to the birth of a new American nation, the likes of which had never been seen before. Over the years, more and more stars have been added to me, but not one has ever been taken away.
I have been carried by troops in every war from the Revolutionary war, Civil war, the war to end all wars, the war after that one, Korea, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been carried by athletes, by mountaineers, skydivers, on suit lapels and leather motorcycle jackets; I’ve even been carried into space and planted on the Moon. I have been carried on seas and oceans around the world and to the bottom of Pearl Harbor. I have flown at the Olympics, The White House, every state Capitol in the Union, school graduations, Boy Scout camps and NASCAR races. I have been trodden underfoot or burned by foreign dissenters and enemies of my country as well as Americans expressing their opinions. I have lain, draped over the coffins of those who can no longer salute me. I have flown at half mast to signify respect and remembrance for those who can no longer carry me in their hearts or hands.
There are many flags in the world, each with their own story, each one unique. But I am not them and they are not me; for I am the American Flag.
© copyright John Higgs, 2013 Distribution for non-commercial use only.