The American Flag- Just a Piece of Cloth?

By James Tuttle

american flag

This original story was published  in March of 2015:

A few days ago this picture was published and has since gone viral. The reason is the controversy concerning the subject matter.

The photo in question was taken by a woman who is herself a veteran. This photo is of a U.S. Serviceman cradling his baby in the Flag of the U.S. Some say it is a disgrace and disrespectful of the flag.

 To me, this picture is a wonderful depiction of the freedom and protection that the Flag represents. Protection, not only by the man holding the ends of the Flag, but by the flag itself. Patriotism expressed in a very eye catching way.

Just a piece of cloth?

One comment in particular struck a nerve. That comment was, “We need to stop worshipping a piece of cloth.” 

I take exception to that. Great exception.

This so called “piece of cloth” has been the standard with which this country fought for and won her independence. It has flown in every skirmish, battle, and war. It is a rallying point for the men and women fight for their country. As long as they see the Flag still flying, they know the battle is their’s to win. This Flag of ours is not “worshipped,” it looked upon as a symbol of this great nation. We pledge Allegiance to it as a symbol of our country. Men and women have fought and died under the shadow of this “piece of cloth.” Some, way too many, have come home with their caskets draped in this “piece of cloth.”

This piece of cloth is the enduring symbol of  America. It flies at all of our Embassies and consulates all over the world. It’s presence is both a comfort to those that seek the freedoms of this country and a symbol of the might of this country to our enemies. It is a symbol of Nationalism… of honor, and of sacrifice.

So why are we seeing such a upswing of anti-flag and even deeper, anti-Americanism right here on our soil by our very own citizens?

Our Flag is being called a sign of aggression and hatred. It is called racist and offensive. It is mocked, burned, danced upon, and painted over. It is removed form our schools and our places of worship. It is being banned, yes banned from being displayed to appease the few that are “offended” by it’s presence. Somehow our flag has even become a symbol of hatred and anti Americanism. That hurts, that cuts deep.

My Grandfather fought in WW1. My Dad in WWII, my brother and I both served our country proudly. We answered the call of our country. We carried the Flag in our hearts as we served. I have strived to instill this sense of pride and of country in my children and in their children as well…teaching them the meaning of the Flag and all it stands for.

Our nation’s flag

I leave you with a poem By Linda Sheehan Cunningham, a Vietnam Veteran, wife and mother. It was written in 1970:

Our nation’s flag is a stirring sight

as it flutters proudly I the breeze

it’s colors of blue, red, and white

means so very much to you and me.

Red stands for courage and hardiness.

The white means innocence and purity.

Blue for justice, perseverance and vigilance

in it’s promise to keep us free.

The banner stands for a bountiful land;

it’s government , people and ideals.

The stripes for the thirteen colonies stand

it’s symbolism is very real

Each state now is represented

By a star of white on blue

President Washington first presented


Many brave men have fought and died

to protect it from dishonor and disgrace

Wives have mourned and mothers have cried

So we could remain…The United States.

The sight of this banner brings feelings of joy,

of courage, pride, and freedom to all.

A symbol of our nation in all it’s glory…

On the moon old glory stands tall

Just a “piece of cloth.”