Letters to the Editor

What do you see in the American flag?

I am passing along a quote from Dr. Anna Howard Shaw who during World War I was the first woman awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for meritorious war service. She was also appointed by the president to head the Women’s Committee for women’s defense work at 70 years old.

She said, “This is the American flag. It is a piece of bunting and why is that when surrounded by the flags of all nations, your eyes and mine turn first toward it and there is warmth at our hearts such as we do not feel when we gaze at any other flag? It is not because of its artistic beauty, for other flags are as artistic. It is because you and I see in that piece of bunting what we see in no other. It is not visible to the human eye but it is to the human soul.

“We see in every stripe of red the blood which has been shed through the centuries by men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the idea of democracy: We see in every stripe of white the purity of the democratic ideal toward which all the world is tending, and in every star in its field of blue we see the hope of mankind that some day the democracy which that bit of bunting symbolizes shall permeate the lives of men and nations, and we love it because it enfolds our ideals of human freedom and justice.”

Frank Halderman, Bellefonte