I watched with much concern over the past year the unfolding of the kneeling during the national anthem and honor of the United States flag. I have been quite amazed at what seems to be the lack of understanding of the meaning of the flag waving above a stadium, school, government building, corporate office or neighborhood home. Every time the red white and blue is displayed it stands for freedom and the deliverance of those oppressed, abused, victimized, and downtrodden. While not everyone has been delivered from such injustice and there is much work to be done, the fact remains, the meaning of the flag (freedom and liberty) have not changed.
For many years I shared a messaged entitled the flags of our freedom the Sunday before July the 4th, Independence day. When I witnessed the American citizens (Athletes) on the job kneeling during the playing of the national anthem of the Untied states in England, and then standing for the national anthem (God Save the Queen) of England something rose within me. I felt a sense of betrayal and dare I say treason, for their actions as American citizens on foreign soil. My first inclination is, these young men have simply got caught up in a debate they do not understand and therefore act, as if they do not understand.
For those who say this is not a statement against the flag or the national anthem, then why kneel during the singing of the national anthem in which every American citizen is to stand, put their hand over their heart and face the flag. The historical purpose of this action is to once again, during the song, reaffirm our allegiance to the country, constitution, and those we call neighbors and U.S. Citizens. It is the one act that unites us all to the greater good. The one act that, when performed, truly has the ability to bring unity through our diversity.
The very act of kneeling, siting, or ignoring denotes the inability or complete refusal to pledge allegiance to this country and the ideals that have made the United States one of the only countries that people want lay down their citizenship of their birth country and become a citizen of this country.
I am not sure what the confusion is. No one is kneeling after the game is over or before they arrive at that stadium. There are no long lines of athletes, owners, legislatures, executives, teachers, or factory workers kneeling in front of the state or nations capitols. No, only during the singing of the National Anthem which is inextricably connected to the Flag of the United States.
For this reason I felt compelled to share the freedoms for which this flag has been raised and continues to fly over our nation so we do not forget.
Flag of Freedom
Flag of Freedom from Tyranny,
In 1776 tyranny was on the tip of every tongue. Revolution, freedom, liberty were the sounds of the battlefield during the war over tyranny. The American Revolution was a good fight for freedom, for people are destined to be free. We must remember what Thomas Jefferson said, “Resistance to Tyrants is obedience to God”. The liberty and freedom that the flag represents is the freedom that God destines for every man and woman on this planet. Isaiah 54:14 says, “In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” We as a country have fought and stood for freedom and against tyranny. Today let us commit to righteous living and be established so that tyranny and terror will be far from our boarders!!! For William Penn wrote, “Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants”
Flag of Freedom from Slavery
A Country that sang, “my country tis of thee sweet land of liberty of thee I sing”, was a country with slavery – an entire population without freedom. How strange it was for the flag that was raised in the face of tyranny was a flag that supported slavery. Thomas Jefferson our 3rd president and author of the constitution said, “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery. ” While we are a country, we are not perfect. But this flag was raised to not simply bring liberty over tyranny but freedom from slavery. John Adams, a founding father stated, “Consenting to slavery is a sacrilegious breach of trust, as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness ”. Yet today many are in slavery—slavery to themselves. It was the 1st century philosopher Seneca who said, “ No man is free who is a slave to the flesh ”. We are living in the atmosphere of being slaves to our individual rights and not the rights and good of the Nation as a whole. The flag those, this past week, took a knee on is the same flag that was raised to abolish slavery and bring freedom to a people and a nation. This flag represents liberty from tyranny and freedom from slavery.
Flag of Freedom from Corruption
The early 1900’s was a roller coaster ride of financial, economic, and social ups and downs. We sent our men and women,for the first time, overseas to fight for freedom in countries some of us had come from yet many of us would never see. World War One was the, “war to end all wars”, yet just a few years later we found ourselves in the midst of another global conflict.
The stock market crash of 1929, the endless lines for soup and the up rise of public enemies lead this country and world into a season of corruption that changed us forever. Names like Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, the rise of the Mafia, bootlegging, and on the international front, we were hearing names such as Hitler, Mussolini, Nazis, Stalin, Lenin, and others. It was a time marked by corruption. Corruption was seen at the highest levels. John Adams, a founding father, said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And again the red white and blue was raised to fight against corruption, in this country and in the world. A corrupt society cannot stand, and the freedom we have was not designed for corrupt people. We are called by God to be moral, just, and righteous. Romans 8:21 says, “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Our founding fathers believed this to be a moral and religious country and set its government to that end.
Samuel Adams, a founding father, said, “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” We need the help of God himself in order to see this country free from its corruption. Benjamin Franklin stated, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” Although we have not been perfect, we have stood against corruption in any form. We have fought it in our streets, in our cities, country and in this world. The red white and blue stand for not only freedom and liberty, but also morality, integrity, and honesty.
Let us honor today the flag that means freedom and liberty around the world
There are times when the flag must be taken down and folded:
• When the day is done
• The battle is over
• A soldier has died.
Each time the flag is lowered it is folded in a very precise way. It is another reminder of the foundation and core of our country. When the flag is folded each fold represents a core value and foundation of our country:
1. The first fold is a symbol of life.
2. The second fold is a symbol of a belief in eternal life.
3. The third fold is a symbol of honor and remembrance of veterans.
4. The forth fold is a symbol of our weaker nature.
5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country.
6. The sixth fold is where our hearts lie.
7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces.
8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, so that we may see the light.
9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood
10. The tenth fold is a tribute to fathers
11. The eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David & King Solomon, glorifying the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.
12. The twelfth fold represents the emblem of eternity and glorifies the God of the Father, the Son & Holy Ghost.
13. When the folds are complete, the stars are uppermost and remind us of our national motto, “In God we Trust.”
There should be no confusion about this. What the flag of the United States stands for is in alignment with the Word of God. If we are not careful, this protest will not be about oppression, victimization, abuse, or racism. It will simply become a statement of rebellion that only comes through the lack of education and mentorship.