Many find deep meaning in flag’s folds

Day by Day: Many find deep meaning in flag’s folds

By LIZ THOMPSON

July 7, 2019
This Week News

The Declaration of Independence, signed 243 years ago, declares: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Many celebrated the Fourth of July this month with parades, picnics, watching fireworks and displaying our flag in various ways.

We celebrated freedom.

In June, we watched as more than 100 D-Day survivors journeyed to France on the 75th anniversary of the largest amphibious invasion in U.S. history.

These surviving men said the real heroes were the young soldiers, ages 18 to 22 in 1944, who gave their lives for freedom. One said he hoped they taught in history books about the sacrifices these soldiers made so young people would understand why they enjoy today’s freedoms.

Displaying our country’s flag is one way to honor those who have served our country, either in the military or in civilian services such as police or fire departments.

During a flag ceremony, as veterans fold the banner, another veteran reads the meaning of why we fold it 13 times. There are several theories about its origin and several versions.

Lori Watson, owner of the Flag Lady’s Flag Store in Clintonville, said the shop offers a copy of the following with each flag sale:

* The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

* The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

* The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

* The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for his divine guidance.

* The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our Country,” in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.

* The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

* The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they are found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

* The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

* The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood and mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

* The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for defense of our country since they were first born.

* The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in the Hebrews’ eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

* The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians’ eyes, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

* The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”

* After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Capt. John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the armed forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

Enough said.

 

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Celebration of freedom, people always valuable

Celebration of freedom, people always valuable

By LIZ THOMPSON

July 26, 2016

ThisWeekNews

This month, we celebrated the independence of our country, the day we became a sovereign nation. After 240 years, you’d think we’d be tired of celebrating. Yet every year, fireworks, picnics, family gatherings and all kinds of events throughout our country mark the date.

When I was a city reporter, some 15 years ago, I gravitated to the positive stories of people who overcame obstacles or were helping others do the same. I loved stories about people who spent hours planning Fourth of July celebrations and those who lined streets to see the fruits of their labors.

I met inventors, entrepreneurs, teachers, physicians, firefighters, police officers, students, artists, musicians, mentors, parents, those remembering loved ones, council members, city workers and business people whose stories filled page after page of the local paper.

I loved every minute and always learned something new. I even had a lesson in shuffleboard and an offer to learn chess from a man who volunteered in the schools teaching children this game of strategy.

Of course, news is always a mix, and I had to do a little bit of everything.

Even after 9/11, when this country was turned upside down, positive stories were plentiful.

Children were placing flags up and down their streets, and churches were full of those praying for the families who lost people in the terror attacks.

We had new respect and understanding of the risks the safety forces endure, especially since we weren’t sure what would happen next, or if anything would happen. To that end, many were praying for our safety and for our country in a time of crisis.

Those who lived through the Depression and World War II and were still alive to tell about it likened the reactions in our country to those times when people pulled together to survive and support one another.

We didn’t have to plant victory gardens or use ration books to meet our needs after 9/11, but we were in as much shock as people were after the attack on Pearl Harbor. We didn’t know how far things would go or what our margin of safety was.

In spite of those things, we are a resilient people.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get into a celebratory mood when we see what’s going on in our country.

Today, we have news at our fingertips on TV, computers and smartphones, newspapers and, yes, even the radio — which was what our nation had during WWII for immediate news.

Sometimes I want to shut it all off. It’s almost too much saturation, and I struggle to find the good news that’s sent to the shadows.

So much news is sensationalized that I find myself sorting through those stories looking for the people who are making a positive difference — the youth who are learning and want to make a difference in this country. I know they’re out there, but we don’t hear enough about them.

I like to read and hear about everyday people doing everyday jobs to keep our lives humming.

What would we do without the people who physically built America and those who maintain and protect it today?

Of course, it’s not the celebrations that make us free, and even if we don’t watch parades or eat from picnic baskets, what’s important is that what makes our country great lies within each of us.

We have the freedom to vote and we can do it with a clear conscience. Freedom means we uphold the laws of our land and respect the people who protect us from harm.

Freedom does not mean we can do whatever we please, no matter the consequences.

I hope we never stop celebrating. I hope these traditions won’t die and that each new generation will realize the sacrifices their ancestors made, and still are making, to keep us free. I hope our youth will join in the effort to keep America free.

Irveline Evans of Upper Arlington is one person I met as a reporter. She and her mother survived a Japanese war camp. She said, “I am always moved to tears when I hear the American national anthem, and I am only recently a Yank!”

Our nation is not perfect, but I hope each of us will continue to strive to keep it united.