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The American Flag - What it Represents

Updated on February 20, 2014

American Flag - A Symbol of Unity

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Introduction

Any country's flag is meant to be a symbol of unity for the citizens of that country. Yet, it seems to have lost its significance and respect within the United States. That is a shame and may explain the current state of our country (at least partially).

Hey, I believe that people in a free country like the United States should have the right to do whatever they want within the confines of the law. And there shouldn't be a law that states that people are required to respect the flag. But because of the unity I discussed above it should be an unwritten rule encouraged by all citizens to have that respect.

Current Symbolism - Different From The Past

It's interesting to note that since before the Civil War the American Flag was used primarily by the military and on occasions of special celebrations like the Fourth of July. It wasn't a common household item and as such, did not really portray any kind of patriotic overtones. But the Civil War changed all that. In 1860, Major Robert Anderson moved his troops from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumpter. This defied the new Confederate States of America. Anderson did this without orders from his superiors. Many believe this to be a leading cause of the Civil War.

But the flag then took on a new significance. Those sympathetic to the Union stood in unification with a physical symbol: the American Flag. This carried on from generation to generation.

American Flag Poll

Do You Believe the American Flag should stand as a symbol of Unity and be respected as such?

See results

Did Betsy Ross Create the First Stars and Stripes?

We all have come to believe that Betsy Ross is the creator of the first flag of the United States but according Founding Fathers website, there is no proof of that. Apparently, according to the site, one of her grandsons is credited with bringing the fact to public light in a reading before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Flag Burning - How Did We Come to That?

We have so many diversities that it seems like we'll never be able to find common ground. But the American Flag is something we can all get around and support. So it is a bit of a shock to me that any United States citizen would take to burning an American Flag. It is against United States code to mutilate the flag (see Flag code section below) and makes me wonder what kinds of acts someone would be capable of committing that is willing to do this. I'm sure I am going to receive many comments about this issue. As long as you present it in a mature manner I will let it through even if it is in contrast to my belief. In fact, I welcome intelligent discourse from those who feel the same as me and whose opinion on the subject is adverse to mine.

Please note about commenting: I have set it up so that I must approve the comments submitted and you must be logged in.

American Flag Code

There is a code within United States law that pertains specifically to the flag. The reference I found spells it out pretty clearly and have included it in the links section. The code specifies when and how you should display the flag. It also gives procedures for how to dispose of the flag and in condition guidelines for that to occur.

One interesting point about the section, "Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag" states that there is a $100 fine and it is a misdemeanor for committing the offense. But it states only within the District of Columbia.

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