There is no better time to rally around the flag than Flag Day. The question is, what does that phrase mean? In my understanding, it does not mean rallying around one’s political party, politician or self interest, but rallying around the underpinning values of our country.
As those who read my pieces know, I was not born an American citizen, but I am definitely a proud one. I am also a conscious citizen, and I think about what this country and its flag symbolize. To me the flag represents opportunity, responsibility and security.
Are there inequalities and discrepancies in our country? Of course. But in my opinion it is beyond argument that living under the American flag allows a person to make choices, to decide the right path for themselves and then to follow that path. It is not a coincidence that all of us know of success stories from every walks of life, that upward mobility is a central tenet of America.
The flag represents responsibility because it is a call to action for each one us to be responsible to the flag and everything that it stands for. We, citizens, have to be aware of the impact of all our actions at home and abroad, we have to live within our means, to support each other and to remember that we are privileged because of the country we get to live in and the flag we get to salute.
The flag represents security because the United States of America has gained a reputation as world power that does not shy away from challenges and one that stands behind its ideals and allies.
While it is true that some people and populations abroad do not have respect for the decisions that the U.S. has made throughout its history, from the Revolutionary War to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has made it clear that it will take the actions necessary to protect itself and its people from any and all threats.
I have been a citizen of another country and have traveled abroad extensively, and there is no symbol that makes me feel as safe as the American flag waving when I come back home.
Most days we wake up in the morning and go about our day without considering the greater issues surrounding us, but I hope that today our flag and everything it represents is saluted far beyond public schools where that is mandated. Today, I hope that today we all rally around our flag.
Boris Epshteyn is a Republican strategist.
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