HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 2, 2007, Herald Journal

I pledge allegiance to the flag

By JENNI SEBORA

“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.”

We, along with our children, proudly say the Pledge of Allegiance at various events, including school events, extracurricular activities, sporting competitions, and Scout meetings.

The USA’s national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” commemorates the US flag that was visible by the light of the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, http://en.wikipedia.org noted.

We fly the American flag in honor of our country and in honor of those who serve our country. Flags are flown at half-staff to show grief for lives lost.

Congress first approved the flag June 14, 1777. June 14 is honorably observed as Flag Day throughout the United States of America.

The stripes signify unity of purpose as exemplified by the 13 original colonies. The stars represent our 50 states dedicated to freedom and democracy.

Red stands for courage, valor, zeal and strength. White is for hope, light, peace, purity and cleanliness of life, and blue represents loyalty, sincerity, justice, truth and fidelity.

We also know our flag as “Old Glory.” This name was given to our national flag Aug. 10, 1831. The flag stands for the spirit of liberty and human freedom.

There are certainly proper ways to display the flag, proper flag etiquette.

• Display of the American flag is usually from sunrise to sunset.

• The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main building of every public place, and during school days, in or near every school building.

• When two or more flags are flown from the same pole, the American flag must be on top.

• When displayed with another flag against a wall, the US flag should be on its own right – left to a person facing the wall.

• Flags are flown at half-mast to show grief for lives lost. Only the president of the US has the legal authority to order all flags to be flown at half-mast.

• When the flag is flown at half-mast, it should be pulled to the top for a moment, and then lowered to the half-mast position. The flag should then be raised to the top before it is lowered for the day.

• On Memorial Day, flags can be flown at half-mast until noon, at which, time they should be raised to full-mast.

In the US, we celebrate Independence Day, the Fourth of July in honor of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, parades and fireworks. This national holiday is also marked by patriotic displays of red, white and blue.

Sources: www.va.gov/kids/; The American Legion, McLeod County Council; Marc Sebora.

Our children can also show patriotism in a variety of ways as well, which was discussed in recent articles.

Patriotic crafts

Here’s an idea for children to make their own red, white and blue windsock. Using red construction paper, red, white and blue streamers, glue or stapler, hole punch, string or yarn, markers, other decorations, such as star stickers, etc., they can create a patriotic windsock.

Have your child decorate one side of the red piece of construction paper with stars, glitter markers, etc. Then glue or staple the short ends of the paper together so the decorated side is showing.

Glue or staple red, white and blue streamers all around the bottom. Then punch two or three holes at the top of the windsock, and attach string or yarn to hang. Your child is now ready to fly their windsock.

Source: www.theideabox.com

• Make a patriotic cake with your children. You may have found this cake idea recipe in a variety of sources already. Our family has made this cake a few times for the Fourth of July.

Bake a white cake. When cooled, frost with whipped topping or white frosting. Use strawberries to create flag stripes and blueberries for the star area.

• Our family has also baked white cupcakes, frosted with red, white and blue frosting (food coloring), and put a small paper flag pick in each cupcake. These small flag picks can be found at many different craft or department stores.

It is important and very appropriate to teach our children about the importance of the American flag and what it stands for. By showing respect to our flag, we are teaching our children that same respect.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July. May we wave our flags in honor and respect to our flag, nation, and freedom. May our children know and do the same.