A symbol of freedom, unity and hope

A symbol of freedom, unity and hope

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

At 7 p.m. Eastern on June 14, Flag Day, Americans everywhere will stop what they are doing and stand together for the annual Pause for the Pledge. They will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and nation in unison.

Since 1777, when the first official flag of the United States was adopted, Old Glory has stood as a symbol of unity, democracy, freedom and hope for all of us.

We see Old Glory around us as it proudly flies from homes, businesses, government buildings and from the hands of young and the old during patriotic parades. It soars in the fields of battle, and it serves as a blanket of freedom draped over the casket of a fallen servicemembers, law enforcement officers and veterans. Our American flag is a reminder of sacrifice and service, and of strength.

The values embodied by our flag are mirrored by The American Legion’s commitment to “promote peace and good will on earth, to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.”

That commitment is visible on Flag Day when American Legion members conduct flag retirement ceremonies with youth to show future generations proper flag etiquette and respect. As Legionnaires who have proudly served under the flag, it is our responsibility to pass on its meaning and instill respect for Old Glory.  

The American Legion is actively promoting patriotism and reinvigorating pride and respect for the American flag by building awareness about why the U.S. flag matters through our “Rally Around the Flag” campaign. To support the campaign, a series of U.S. Flag Code and Rally Around the Flag social media graphics are available for download that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These individual graphics break down the U.S. Flag Code, as well as feature historical notes, fun facts and voices from history about the American flag.

You can start sharing these social media graphics by visiting legion.org/flag/resources.

I also encourage you to share why the flag matters to you. You can share your story on Legiontown.org under the heading “Rally Around the Flag.” 

As I walked the hallow grounds of Utah Beach during my recent visit to Europe, I saw a tiny American flag in the sand near the historic beach that helped free Europe from tyranny. It was a reminder – no matter the size – of the ultimate sacrifice paid under the Red, White and Blue, and of the freedom and unity that Old Glory means. Long may it wave, wherever it may stand.   

Veterans Strengthening America

Paul E. Dillard

National Commander