Disrespect of the American Flag

Nicole Long, Staff Writer

There is a misconception rolling around that the American flag signifies freedom of speech. The American flag represents more than just freedom; the appearance of the flag helps give the overall meaning to it. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states in the United States of America. And the 13 stripes represent the thirteen colonies that declared independence. The colors on the flag also give it a special significance. The color white signifies purity and innocence; red signifies hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. But the respected atmosphere around that flag has changed increasingly since the election of the new president. People have been rioting against him, and have been rebelling in a multitude of ways that are now tearing the United States apart. Disrespect of the flag is an improper way to riot and rebel.

The Pledge of Allegiance is an oath of allegiance and fidelity to this country; it’s also a sign of independence and justice. But, just as life always flows, there are some who don’t believe in the words of the pledge. They stay seated during the pledge because they don’t respect the decisions in the election. They confuse the attitudes of some, as the actions of the many. Some say the pledge as a natural routine in their everyday lives, but they don’t ever think about the meaning in the words they recite. The first words, “I pledge allegiance,” is the citizen’s promise to be loyal; “to the flag,” to the symbol of the country; “of the United States of America,” the nation of 50 states; “and to the Republic,” the country where the people elect representatives to make the laws; “for which it stands,” the flag stands as the symbol of equality; “one nation under God,” people can believe whatever they want; “indivisible,” the nation can never be split apart; “with liberty and justice,” with freedom and a system of law; and the last words, “for all,” mean every person in the nation, regardless of differences. Many don’t notice, when they are arguing against the differences in a man, that they are telling that man that he needs to change for the country. People should never have to change who they are to match others.

The act of burning an American flag has become a situation that has resonated across the country and even beyond its borders. Recently, the results of an election have caused many to be disappointed and upset at the decision of the chosen man. They have gotten so upset, that they started to burn the American flag as a sign of rebellion against the president elect. What needs to be understood, is that the flag isn’t for the president, or even the government. That flag that hangs on poles today, is for all of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for everyone else. They fought for their freedom, and they earned it, but burning that flag isn’t going against the elected president, it’s going against national heroes. President Obama said, “Remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage.” When someone looks at that flag, they should see respect glowing in the colors and not a feeling of hatred for a man.

The United States made a decision that cannot be altered, and protesting is a moot cause. Yes, United States’ citizens have freedom of speech, but when their opinion starts to block traffic, or bring violence to the scene…, it is no longer a debate. Hillary Clinton declared, “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” The fight is finished, disrespect towards the American Flag is now a debate across the 50 states. America voted for their new president, it is now time to raise the American flag, salute the actions of soldiers, and support the new president elect and his decisions.