Biden recently presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to flag-kneeler and general America misrepresenter Megan Rapinoe, a move that seems to contradict the medal’s intended purpose given her beliefs and actions on the world stage. The medal is the highest U.S. civilian award and is reserved for those who make an “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” While America is undeniably a nation that values tolerance and diversity, especially in the realm of ideas, it is also true that we are a nation founded upon certain fundamental principles and beliefs that cannot be denied while claiming to represent America. The US flag and anthem represent these principles and beliefs, so to kneel for them to promote pet causes is to miss the target, disrespect America, and harm the national interest.
Americans should reflect on the flag’s meaning and ask themselves what the people occupying important positions in our government really value. There are many documents and works of art that display proper veneration for the flag. One that can be useful to our purpose here is poet Oliver Wendell Holmes’ unofficial fifth verse to the Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem. While it is relatively obscure, the lyrics are worth a read because they recognize much of what the flag of the United States truly stands for: Liberty and the courage to defend it!
Holmes wrote the verse in 1861, as the Civil War was looming and the threat to our Republic and liberty-for-all came not from outside but from within. This verse is as relevant today as ever; Anyone thinking about protesting the flag or national anthem would do well to think twice about who their true enemies are and what their real target should be, lest they end up erroneously defiling the symbol which best represents what they are ultimately seeking.
“When our land is illum’d with Liberty’s smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchain’d who our birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.”
True American Patriots should especially take note of that last line, “While the land of the free is the home of the brave.” It takes courage to defend the just moral principles of our Founding and the exercise of responsible liberty that springs from them. Over time, worldly temptation inevitably lures men into subjective desire, and from this an enemy of Right is made. Without eternal vigilance, the political structures of a society will begin to reflect this immoral shift. Today we have a political-industrial-ideological Machine that seems geared towards promoting selfish desire for the benefit of its engineers. Good people that challenge it are quickly demonized. The US flag symbolizes the opposite of this Machine’s function, so is it any surprise those so caught up in the Machine’s gears are so hostile towards it and use it as a focus for blame of societies unfortunate troubles?
Wave the flag in the face of injustice (real or perceived), don’t mistake and blame it for injustice itself. In order to preserve the Union that secures for us the blessings of liberty, we must push back against the Megan Rapinoes and Colin Kaepernicks of the world that willfully or unwillingly do the bidding of those that seek to divide us contrary to our principles. Voting out people occupying government positions that would present them awards for their unamericanism ought to be the first order of business.