What's Behind The Symbolism?
October 15, 2010 by Chip Wood
*What so proudly we hail. Thanks to all of you who enjoyed my column Honoring Our Country’s Flag that ran two weeks ago. You made it one of the most-read columns in the history of Personal Liberty Digest. (If you missed it, click here to see it — and maybe share it with a friend.)
That article has gotten nearly 500 comments and more are coming in every day. I’m sorry I can’t reply to each and every one (yes, even the ones from those loony liberals, who keep attacking all of us who still value patriotism).
One of the best suggestions I saw was to explain the symbolism behind our country’s flag. What do the stars and stripes mean? What do the colors represent? These are great questions and I’m glad to say they have great answers.
Back in 1777 Charles Thompson, the secretary of the Continental Congress, said this about the colors red, white and blue, which were used in the Great Seal of the United States, as well as our first flag:
“White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief [the broad band in which the stars appear] signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”
The U.S. House of Representatives, in a book about the flag published 300 years later, added:
“The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of rays of light emanating from the sun.”
So you see, there’s a lot more involved here than just 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies that formed the United States of America; or 50 stars, representing each individual state. Aren’t you glad you asked?
— Chip Wood