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.”
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.