By REP. JAMIE ALLARD
On Flag Day we pay tribute to a symbol of freedom that is known the world over as a beacon of hope and justice, that sweet Old Glory, our American Flag.
The Stars and Stripes were adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777. Red for valor, white for purity, and blue for loyalty. Stars for a new constellation. Congress knew this great experiment of democracy, representation, and equality deserved an emblem worthy of the allegiance of a new nation as monumental as new stars in the sky.
Nearly 250 years later, the flag of the United States of America still stands for liberty. She has painted history red, white, and blue as she blazed a path against tyranny in all its forms. She is a formidable foe to all those who threaten freedom and a fierce friend to the oppressed and downtrodden. She has inspired poems and songs and is the shroud of honor for our fallen heroes, who gave their all in service to the ideals for which she stands. There is no greater love than to lay your life down for your friends.
I wonder if that first Congress could ever fathom just how far their flag has flown. From humble beginnings, they dared to dream of a new world where we all have a voice. The Stars and Stripes have carried that vision forward on the shoulders of the courageous men and women who dare to dream of a more perfect Union.
Embodied by those American pioneers, Old Glory has transcended new frontiers and is firmly planted in the depths of the human spirit. From the shores of Tripoli to the top of Mount Everest, from Eagle River, Alaska, to the surface of the moon, she waves in honor of those who have built her legacy and those who will carry her values into the future.
Flag Day is a time to pay tribute to the extraordinary journey of the American people, remembering our moments of triumph and our strength in adversity.
Flag Day reminds us that the responsibility to carry the values of the flag into the future rests on each and every one of us. Her success depends on our willingness to engage in our government, invest in our communities, and diligently teach our children the power of freedom.
Our flag unites us as Americans, embracing our differences and reminding us that we are a nation of individuals, as equal and unique as the 50 stars. The stripes remind us of the struggle for independence, that freedom isn’t free.
Our flag is a powerful symbol that brings together people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and walks of life under a common purpose. As we celebrate Flag Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to the principles that our flag embodies: red for valor, white for purity, and blue for loyalty both to freedom and to each other.
Let us also remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our flag and the freedoms it represents. We honor our soldiers and acknowledge that we owe the safety and liberty of our shores to their loyalty and service. Their dedication and courage inspires us to live up to the ideals of the Stars and Stripes and to never take our freedom for granted.
Let us take a moment to reflect on the powerful symbolism of our flag. Let us recognize its role as a unifying force and a faithful reminder of the values that make our nation strong. May we always cherish and protect the freedoms it represents, and may we be inspired to work together to build a brighter and more prosperous future, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America.
Rep. Jamie Allard serves in the Alaska House of Representatives for Eagle River. These were her remarks for the Elks Club in Eagle River Sunday.