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Looking Back

From the Loomis News archives
By: Compiled Howard Mehl and Howard Stitt
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Driving around town this past weekend, I noticed a significant number of American flags on display. With Flag Day coming up on Sunday, June 14, it is appropriate to proudly display our nation’s emblem. In a few weeks we will come upon another of our national hoilidays, July 4. Flags will fly again. Good! It is also good to know that our Founding Fathers decided our new nation needed a symbol that reflected what this new country was all about. In June 1777, the Continental Congress laid the blueprint for the flag’s appearance: Thirteen stripes alternating red and white to stand for the first states that formed the union. The 13 stars on a blue background represented “a new constellation.” In other words, the new country in the world was like a new group of stars in the sky. The 13 stars have grown to 50 over the years as new states joined the union. The color red stands for hardness and courage, white for purity, and the blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice. It’s a grand old flag. It is interesting to read that those involved in writing our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution foresaw the need to have a symbol, a flag, to truly represent what we, as a newly formed country, stood for. So, while the vision of the stars and stripes invokes patriotism and pride, I feel it extends to our individual freedoms as outlined in that constitution. The preamble states: “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” Most of the articles that follow set out the mechanics, and rules, of how the government would operate and function. The amendments that follow are riveting and striking. I offer the titles of the most pertinent to our democracy: Freedom of Speech. Right to bear Arms. Secure in our Person. Judicial Protection. Rejection of Slavery. Racial Equality. Right to Vote. Beautiful flag — May it fly forever.