(June 14 official editorial of the Washington Examiner) June 14 is Flag Day and the commemoration should remind us that we need a unifying symbol now more than ever.

The American flag design, with its 13 stripes and (originally) 13 stars, was adopted on June 14, 1777, expressly as a symbol of 13 disparate colonies unifying as one, under a banner that stood for the Declaration of Independence’s celebration of liberty and universal rights. That declaration and that flag, along with the national anthem written in 1814, always stood for the aspirational best in this nation. They asked us, and ask us still, to point above and beyond any current flaws or divisions, in celebration of unalienable rights with a sense of sacred honor.

A nation that was founded to promote the best in human nature, even while itself being less than perfect, could work to be “more perfect,” with flag flying high and proudly in the knowledge that no other nation’s aspirations were as lofty. Nor, frankly, have most other nations come as close, as often, to realizing those ideals.

It’s unfortunate that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was forced to apologize for making perfectly acceptable comments about what the national anthem and the flag meant to him. But his comments are worth highlighting.

The flag, he said, reminds us we should “try to make our country and this world a better place….

He continued: “Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ’60s and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point….”

That is what the United States always has done: Work for higher things. Higher things, such as liberty. Equality under the law. Procedural guarantees in the course of justice. And, not less, unity of basic purpose: Out of many, one….

[Those are excerpts of a whole which holds together better than those parts. Please read the whole thing at this link.]


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