What Does the American Flag Represent for Many Veterans?

To many US veterans and American citizens, the flag symbolizes so much. What does the American flag represent for you?

If you look at Old Glory, she is essentially only a piece of dyed fabric. This is how Ret. Major General Tom Braaten began his speech during a Flag Day celebration to a group of veterans and various community members. The rest of Bratten’s presentation focused on getting the audience to think about what the American flag really means to them.

What the flag means to Veterans

The General’s speech was part of a Flag Day celebration sponsored by the local Elk’s chapter. Many other speakers from the group also got on stage and described what the different flag elements represented to them. “Somewhere in this country, every moment, it is significant to someone,” Bratten said as he referred to Old Glory.

A World War II Navy veteran George Besa also gave his take on the deeper meaning to the flag and the ceremony. He said, “I am very patriotic. There’s a good crowd, but the park should be full of people.”

Veterans American flag

People of all ages came out to honor the flag. One Marine even celebrated his 21st birthday as he sat and listen to the flag-inspired speeches from the Elks members. The Elks pride themselves on their patriotic values and dedication to preserving the honor of the US flag.

Batten closed the presentation with more stories of flags at funerals, retirements and other events. He also mentioned how the flag has served as a powerful symbol of hope for the victims and families affected by the recent Moore tornado.

Whether you are a current military member, US veteran or patriotic citizen, the flag can inspire many different feelings. What does the American flag represent for you? What do you think of when you look at Old Glory?

Credit: New Berns

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