My grandfather flew bombers and heavy cargo planes in World War II, and for the rest of his life, he flew a flag outside his house, putting it out every morning and taking it in every evening, making sure in his careful, deliberate way that it didn't get wet or touch the ground. My grandmother frequently sang You're a Grand Ol' Flag for us grandchildren.
Respect for the flag and what it represented was expected in my family.
After Papa died, my grandmother continued the tradition of flying the flag each day until, one day, her flag was stolen. I remember her bewilderment that anyone would steal a flag. Why would anyone do that?
The American flag stands for freedom, sacrifice, and democracy...all values of the founding fathers who risked life itself to sign the Declaration of Independence. It stands for a bunch of different entities standing as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
And that is something to celebrate.
Happy Independence Day!