The American Flag: Photo Essay Celebrating Independence Day

Every morning for 10 years I stood in front of a desk saluting a flag, reciting a sentence etched in my memory. It was something the school did to begin the day. Something I did every morning without thinking; it had become muscle memory by the age of seven. I knew nothing about this flag, what it represented or what the sentence I was spewing out meant. But then again I was just a kid living in Texas, going to school, doing the routine.

Over the years – and thousands of miles later – that flag and its pledge have come to mean something. Freedom. Independence. Unalienable rights. Traveling has taught me what text books couldn’t teach me about freedom and independence. About the beautiful rights we are born into as citizens of the United States. Rights I’m thankful to have as a person, especially a woman; rights so many women in the world will never know. I drive by the American flag as she waves to me every day on my way to wherever I’m going. I don’t recite her pledge anymore, although still etched in my brain. But now, I appreciate what she represents. I know what it means. And I’m grateful.

This week the United States will be celebrating the July 4th holiday – our Independence Day. There are few things, if any, that represent our independence and freedom more than the United States flag. My friend Jenna Kvidt over at WanderTheMap.com and I have compiled the following photo essay capturing the beauty of the red-white-and-blue, along with other places in our country that hold its message of independence and freedom. Happy Independence Day!

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

4th of July Surfer Memorial in Delray Beach, FL
4th of July Surfer Memorial in Delray Beach, FL
Contributed by WanderTheMap.com

 

Napa Valley | Six vineyards in one day
The flag fly’s high above the vines in Napa Valley, CA

 

statue of liberty new york city
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986. The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island was recently closed for more repairs and will reopen to the public on July 4, 2013

 

Neighborhood Around Ground Zero is Happening but Still Remembers...
This site of Ground Zero in 2003. “The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act, but by the size of the heart.”

 

San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

mount rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mt Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. It features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Interesting fact: The initial concept for Mount Rushmore called for each president to be depicted from head to waist but lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941.

 

Buying Art in New Orleans
Jackson Square, New Orleans

 

Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C.
Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C.
Contributed by WanderTheMap.com

 

Raising the 60 foot flag in Delray Beach, FL
Raising the 60 foot flag in Delray Beach, FL
Contributed by WanderTheMap.com

 

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Contributed by WanderTheMap.com

 

San Juan Flags
Flags fly high at Castillo de San Cristobal in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

customs
Coming home…a welcomed sight in the airport after having traveled internationally for an extended amount of time.

 

american flag
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Have you ever counted how many flags you see along your drive today – to work, school or just the store. Yesterday I counted 13 on a 20 mile drive. I’m sure I missed a few along the way but she really is beautiful. So is what she represents. Happy Independence Day.

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