By Kathleen O’Malley Brown, www.chelseafoundation.org
Kathleen O’Malley Brown is the Executive Director of the Chelsea Foundation. She was both a parent and a foster parent and has participated in child education classes. A trail-blazer in sales, she has traveled five states, calling on engineers and plant managers. She volunteered at a national children’s hospital for 10 years, tending to sick children and helping out the staff. She is well-known for being able to put any child to sleep in fifteen minutes or less (sans threats, trauma, bribes, or drugs).
Could it be due to what the flag symbolizes? Ask your children…
50 STARS and 13 STRIPES—50 states born out of the courage found by those who lived in 13 colonies against a major empire, the queen then of the seas?
Throughout our history the flag has been a part of celebrations. Why? What does its presence celebrate?
Unity, of 50 states, yes, but what about the unity found in our heritage that grew out of the heritage of over a hundred ninety countries merging into what is now ours?
Courage, found in armies, yes, but what about the courage of the most courageous who took risk well above and beyond the call of duty; those who do battle in the fields wearing a uniform, yes, but what about those who do battle in our courtrooms wearing the law, written to protect rights, rights written into our constitution?
There has never been a US battlefield, a picket line, or a court house where a US flag did not fly!
What does the US flag represent for your children?
The presence of the US flag evokes memories; it cradles emotions; it unfolds the drama of US history; and it communicates messages. When it is seen on the horizon overseas by the suffering, it becomes an answer to prayers. When it is seen by our enemies, it generates fear. When tested, the flag’s colors become the colors of every American’s backbone—proven over and over again!
Our flag is a part of us, as it is the backdrop of our history! It holds memories frozen in our minds: soldiers carrying it as they head into battle, raising it to send a message to those in the distance that the battle has been won; or seen flying over courthouses to remind all who enter that we as a nation hold dear our judicial systems and its values, where lying is criminal and civil rights are protected.
Do your children know of other uses for the US flag?
The flag is used to drape caskets with a blanket of warmth, preserving the courage that was given up to protect the values that are the cornerstone of this nation.
Flags are an intricate part of us, and that is why they are an intricate part of our celebrations, our parades, for the sight of them fills us and generates emotions that flow with the ripple of its Red, White, and Blue! Long may it wave!
The US flag stands for many things all honorable, but it also marks ownership as to where it flies and that includes the moon!
How will your family celebrate Flag Day this year?
One day out of 365 seems reasonable to remind us to celebrate its presence, as it represents our values written in our constitution!
Photo: Stuart Miles