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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Let’s Raise the Red, White and Blue

Jun 21, 2017 11:00AM ● By Kendra Kaiserman

Oh Say Can You See

July 2017
Story by Patrick John

She’s waving gently from her prime location on the front porch. She’s almost always there, quietly and gracefully keeping watch as the world passes by. She has seen the amazingly good hearts and deeds of humanity, and witnessed the unspeakable. No matter the state around her, she survives. She always stands with poise. In the evenings, she holds steady, a soft spotlight perfectly illuminating her.  She’s not a diva, more of a grand dame. She’s seasoned, well-respected, and very dignified. She is a true patriot with numerous names. Old Glory. The Stars and Stripes. The Red, White and Blue. The Star Spangled Banner.

In the South Valley, she is absent from the majority of porches, yards, and businesses. If you’ve noticed a lack of red, white and blue around town, those thoughts are warranted – there are fewer United States flags flying in the West than any other part of the country.

Do those iconic frames of the U.S. flag being planted on the moon, raised over Iwo Jima or hoisted on 9/11 at Ground Zero not mean anything anymore? Those who study flags, vexillologists, say it’s partly generational. The number of millennials serving on active duty is just a fraction of what previous generations have seen, so the flag doesn’t have quite the same support and level of personal meaning. Researchers also say kids take cues from their parents. Parents who display the flag at home are more likely to have children who do the same. 

So, the task is getting more flags onto more houses, cars and businesses. Flag Day was last month, and July 4th is Independence Day, so now might be a good time to pick up a flag or get a replacement for a faded set of Stars and Stripes. 

Symbols are a huge part of United States history. No matter how advanced technology becomes, history dictates simple traditions will always survive.  Imagine no flag, no bald eagle, no Statue of Liberty, no Liberty Bell or no White House. They are symbols that speak volumes in different ways.

Red stands for hardiness and valor. White signifies purity and innocence.  Blue means vigilance, perseverance and justice. Let’s fly her proudly.