The American Flag Essay

The American Flag Essay

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When you see the American flag, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Is it a war? A relative? A political leader? What? For me, I usually think of the Star Spangled Banner. I grew up on a military base in Germany. If the flag were being raised or lowered, you would see soldiers, and even civilians, standing at attention, saluting the flag. In a parade, as the flag was being carried in front by one of the brigades, everyone held his or her hand over his or her heart as the flag passed that person. Even in the theaters, before the movie would start, the Star Spangled Banner would be played while scenes of American flags in battles and peacetime were on the screen and everyone would stand, either at attention or with hand over heart, as the song played out. This is how important the flag is to the United States. But, as we all know, there are hundreds of people who are constantly degrading the flag and other symbols of the USA. The flag should be respected because it is a symbol of the United States of America and because it represents our morals and values.
There are several ways in which one can disrespect a flag. For example, burning a flag is not just a decent way to destroy a flag once it is too tattered or torn. It's also one of the classic ways in which people degrade our flag. In the book Desecrating the American Flag by Robert Justin Goldstein, the Clinton administration assistant attorney general Walter Dellinger states in 1995: "For five years since the Johnson ruling, the flag has been left without any statutory protection against symbolic desecration. For five years, one thing, and only one thing, has stood between the flag and its routine desecration: the fact that the...

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...d reminder to all of us of the tremendous, continuing sacrifices of our armed forces and of our own responsibilities as citizens of a great country always willing to help when help is needed anywhere in the world."


Cooper, Eric and James P. Callison. "A Chronology of US. Historical Documents." 2001

Cromer, Robert. "Dear Mr. Brokaw." An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from
the Greatest Generation. Ed. Tom Brokaw. New York: Random House, 2001. 17-

Goldstein, Robert Justin. Desecrating the American Flag: key documents of the
controversy from the Civil War to 1995. Syracuse NY: Syracuse University Press, 1996.
Knudsen, Gene. "Mannheim High School first to honor 9/11 flag." Herald Post.
15 May 2003.

Streufert, Duane. "Flag Etiquette." Nov. 1994. 5 December 2003.

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