Every morning Husband Joe, unless it’s raining, puts the American flag out. Nothing ceremonious. I’m not out there with a bugle; it’s just him putting up the flag. In the evening he takes it down. Since it is not illuminated, it comes down at sunset. Once again, no ceremony.

He laments that more people do not have a flag displayed, except possibly on certain patriotic holidays. Maybe because he served in the Air Force it has a special meaning. He has remarked how Maple Avenue in Berwyn has two blocks where flags fly from poles planted in front of each house. It’s quite impressive.

I found out much about the flag writing this column; it would have been a good school report for an American history class.

We learned the pledge in school as youngsters and the powerful words “with liberty and justice for all,” which became etched in our hearts and minds. We were taught the meaning of the flag, how to display it and its importance in our lives. 

Pictures of the flag being raised on Iwo Jima, or 50 years ago when it was put on the moon were all reminders of the flags importance. There are scenes of the flag standing tall among the ashes following 9-11. It is symbolic of many things of which we are proud and how we strive to keep our values strong.

Giving voice to the flag, it would ask for respect, not only of the flag but for all it represents, including all people. I, as the American flag want to stand tall and ask other meaningful flags to stand next to me to present a united front. Express your opinions in a dignified manner. Remember, many fought for me to be displayed. Whether you salute me or put your hand over your heart, I am the symbol of all that is right with this country.

Writing this column held meaning for me in many ways, maybe because I am the child of immigrant parents and know acceptance of all is covered by the American flag or Husband Joe’s service to the country. Acceptance doesn’t always come at once, but with civility and education it can happen.

So there you have it, our house has a big flag and many little flags to celebrate July 4.

Hopefully you are proudly displaying a flag. If not, now would be a good time to start.