By Erika Anderson
Sales of American flags have increased as the 9/11 anniversary draws near. These flags are a symbol to unite beneath, to honor America and our heroes. Hopefully, they can also serve as a reminder to remain vigilant in the fight to protect America and provide America’s defense with all the tools they need to continue the job of doing so.
One flag sales website, NYCwebStore.com, said customer interest in 9/11 anniversary flags started in January and demand is currently 2-3 times more than in 2010 so far. Other flag stores have echoed the growing trend.
It’s no wonder Americans are eager to swap faded flags for new ones as such a monumental day approaches. In the flag lies the literal fabric of the United States, a tangible item to symbolize the strength and liberty that withstood that horrible day.
The national anthem recalls, “Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave, for the land of the free and home of the brave.” The flag was enough to sustain author Francis Scott Key in the middle of a battle. It has done similarly for America as we’ve battled terrorism time and again in the past ten years.
After September 11, 2001, the flag’s significance deepened, as it was planted it amid the rubble at Ground Zero and nearly every home flew the flag out their windows and on their lawns.
As Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) recently wrote:
Shortly after the tragic September 11, 2001 attacks on our great country, Americans all over the world raised up ‘Old Glory’ in patriotic understanding of the events that had just befallen our country. The American Flag has always been a symbol of bringing our nation together in good times or bad.
On foreign lands, Americans can see it flying from afar and know they are within distance of friends. One of the most famous photos in history is that of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong planting the flag on the moon.
There is a reason a 10 section “Flag Code” exists, a meticulous and sacred policy that protects the honor of America’s most visible representation. Section 8j says,
The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
But we should not lose sight of those who wish to destroy what the American flag stands for.
As Heritage’s Matt Mayer writes:
We must not lull ourselves into believing that bin Laden was an anomaly. In terrorist hideouts across the globe, many men with similarly warped views are eager to become the next bin Laden. They know the path to that title lays in successfully attacking us domestically and causing substantial death and destruction.
The threat of terrorism remains and while America has prevented at least 40 terror plots aimed at the U.S. from occurring since 9/11, that is only because of a strong and aggressive offense. The flag reminds us how important it is to maintain that posture and protect America moving forward.
The flag code insists we keep our flags in good shape. They are not merely patriotic accessories but sacred emblems of a priceless freedom that is never assured past today.
As Heritage’s Marion Smith wrote,
The ideals of America’s founding are timeless. And yet the defense of Freedom is never complete, but requires eternal vigilance. Not only must the cloth and colors of the flag endure, but the liberty it represents must not perish from the earth.
It’s not just a symbol for America or Americans – it’s a symbol for the world, streaming in the light from the city on a hill for the entire world to see.