The National Anthem has been in the news a lot lately. On Saturday, President Trump tweeted about the string of National Anthem protests happening in the NFL. He unequivocally said athletes should be respecting the American flag and what it stands for.
Later, he tweeted again to clarify why he cares so much about the American flag being respected. He said it’s because of the men and women who have died to defend the flag and our country.
“Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag --- we MUST honor and respect it! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
What have other important figures in American history had to say about the American flag? Why did they think the American flag deserved our utmost regard? Here are six quotes from founding fathers, past presidents, and writers.
1. Abraham Lincoln, February 16, 1861
“Standing as I do, with my hand upon this staff, and under the folds of the American flag, I ask you to stand by me so long as I stand by it.”
2. Minna Irving, "Betsy's Battle Flag"
“A nation thrills, a nation bleeds,
A nation follows where it leads,
And every man is proud to yield
His life upon a crimson field
For Betsy's battle flag.”
3. President Woodrow Wilson, 1917
“This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us—speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.”
“A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth.”
5. Ronald Reagan, 1981.
"When we honor our flag we honor what we stand for as a Nation—freedom, equality, justice, and hope."
6. Ronald Reagan, 1986.
"Today we celebrate Flag Day, the birthday of our Stars and Stripes. As we think back over the history of our nation's flag, we remember that the story of its early years was often one of hardship and trials, sometimes a fight for simple survival. ... As the American Republic grew and prospered and new stars were added to the flag, the ideal of freedom grew and prospered. From the rolling hills of Kentucky to the shores of California to the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, our pioneers carried our flag before them, a symbol of the indomitable spirit of a free people. And let us never forget that in honoring our flag, we honor the American men and women who have courageously fought and died for it over the last 200 years, patriots who set an ideal above any consideration of self. Our flag flies free today because of their sacrifice."
Do you have any favorite quotations about the American flag? Let us know in the comments.
In other news, an NFL player just got fired for what he did during the game on Sunday. Do you think he deserved it?