Today is our national holiday called Flag Day. It is the day set aside to honor and remember what our flag stands for, why we fly it, and the amazing people who died to protect it. I made this piece from Japanese handmade papers and the stars were punched from a Braille bible.
I find it very appropriate that the Braille portion of this reminds us that our flag should be blind. No matter who you are, what you believe, how you live or spend or advocate in your life, being an American means you are free to live under the protection of our flag. Being an American means being able to scream at the top of your lungs and pronounce your beliefs and the rest of us can listen or ignore you or chime in. Being an American means loving where you live, paying your taxes, and living the life you choose if you are willing to do the work.
None of us are pure bred, we are all some semblance of mutt. We are the grand experiment that worked. People left their homes in other countries to come to this prosperous land to live a better life. We are their descendants , their legacy, the recipients of their courage and strength. It is our right and obligation to pass to our descendants a better place than the one we found. That means we have to think. and dream. and work, and dream and work some more. It means we have to prepare the way for the innovators, the inventors, the creative, the boring, the sullen, the smart and the dull. It’s not just about where we live, its about why we live here and what it means to us.
Our flag is a symbol that has developed over the years to mean many things to many people. Stars have been added over time to represent each state in our union, and stripes represent the original thirteen colonies. Somewhere between the stars and stripes are the hopes and dreams of every person who lives on our soil. Today is a single reminder to take pride in our flag, how far we have come, and the pray that we learn how to get along better to pave a way to a stronger and harmonious future. Our children and our grand children are depending upon us to do our best for the stars and stripes.