Colors of our lives
A Country We Love
“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”
- Frederick Douglass
Star Wars nerd, disc golfer, trekkie, Dodgers fan. We all wear a lot of hats in our lives, switching them out when the time needs or as circumstances permit. But there are a few hats that stay on permanently. For me those hats are dad, citizen, and patriot.
This Fourth of July season had me reflecting on what those permanent hats really mean in my USA. There is a lot of noise out there on the subject of being a “good citizen”. Plenty of discord and anger from one ideology directed toward the next. But there is one thing that will not change: Good Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, our American Flag and what it stands for.
The thirteen stripes have an alternating red and white pattern. These stripes represent the thirteen original colonies that founded our nation with their treasonous fight against the British. Risking literally everything, these citizens fought for their independence and the autonomy to rule themselves. Today we call them heroes (which they are). When the Constitutional Congress convened soon afterward, these citizens crafted the document that has been the blueprint for our laws and customs to this day: The Constitution of the United States.
The white stars on the blue field represent each state that has been admitted to the Union. Originally there were 13 stars set in a circular pattern. In essence, a “new constellation”. With the addition of new states and stars in quick succession, the circular pattern was abandoned in favor of a design similar to what we have today.
The Colors have their own purpose and significance. The white of the stars and stripes signifies purity and innocence. We create a world in which innocence can be protected and held on to for as long as possible. A world where children can grow and develop without fear. Fear of when their next meal will happen, fear for their safety, fear of not being loved. Putting on the “dad” hat for a moment, I want my kids to only be afraid of normal things like Freddy Kruger, broccoli, and ME when they touch the TV screen with their Cheeto hands.
I’ve heard many inferences to the significance of the red stripes. Most common is that red stands for the blood that was sacrificed for the freedoms we all enjoy. I prefer to believe that red is for courage and readiness to sacrifice, an opportunity that every citizen can aid in when the time comes. We see it almost every day: a random human in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing. And it doesn’t have to be some great sacrifice; you can just sacrifice five minutes to call your grandma to check in with her. (Oh, by the way, call your grandma. She misses you. I guarantee it.)
The Blue stands for vigilance and justice. I like to think that all US citizens have the vigilance to maintain their courage for the innocent. Vigilance to hold those who would pervert justice accountable for their actions. Literally standing in the way of evil and those who would do harm to others.
Meet our author
Steven De Hoff
Steven has 10+ years of experience in the E-commerce space with an emphasis in storefronts and product listings. A classical connoisseur of the internet, Steven spends his free time staying away from it. Instead choosing to be a dad and disc golfer.