In 1813 an army General requested a flag made so big that “the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance.” Officers located Rebecca Young Pickersgill known as a ‘maker of colors,’ and commissioned her to make a flag. Using 400 yards of best quality wool bunting Rebecca and her daughter cut 15 stars that measured two feet from point to point, and eight red and seven white stripes, each two feet wide, were cut. The material was laid out on a malt-house floor and the pieces were sewn together.
The next year in the early dawn a young man scanned the horizon for the sight that would end his anxiety; the joy of seeing a flag blowing in the breeze. Yes, when daylight came, the flag was still there! The young man was an amateur poet was immediately inspired and wrote the first few stanzas on the back of a letter he had in his pocket. Later additional lyrics were composed his anthem was set to music and thus we have The Star-Spangled Banner; the young man Francis Scott Key.
From intimate letters between President’s Jefferson and John Adams we discover their perspectives regarding bigotry. “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds.” “Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” “We are destined to be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism….” “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”_ Thomas Jefferson to John Adams_ “May we be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism’’ “Your taste is judicious in liking better the dreams of the future than the history of the past.”
Recently a Korean War veteran saw a photo in his local paper of the LGBT flag being hoisted in his local park. This upset him and he contacted his local council saying something to the effect that he had not gone overseas and to fight for his country so that he could come back and be subjected to “something like that.” [The Korean War time frame: 1950 – 1953]: He also intimated that other veterans felt that the flying of this flag was similar to a ‘poke in the eye of a way of life.’
The statements “something like that and poke in the eye of a way of life” reminded me of the morbid minds that Presidents Jefferson wrote about in a letter to his friend. History tells us that the two did not always enjoy and easy friendship “Jefferson wrote that he and Adams were often separated by ‘different conclusions.’ But the two men maintained their friendship despite their political differences. In fact they ceased writing to one another for an extended period of time until a breakthrough and their old friendship was renewed. The friendship of these two presidents should be seen as example; if two presidents can find a way to maintain a friendship despite their differences we should be able to do the same. These men were determined and patient; if we are patient and determined we can do the same.
However some members of society are slow to accept diversity, so eager to deny liberties and rights: To the Korean War Veteran who wrote “something ‘like’ that…” Let me say that Gay men have served valiantly in battle since time began and I would like to remember my wonderful friend Rich, a Korean War Veteran himself. Rich was one of gentlest and sweetest men on earth, he was a gay man who spent eight years in the US military but in his era Rich and his gay friends were locked closets.
Its time we viewed everyone equally, not because of law or legislation but because it is honorable. Now, as I understand it, the legacy of the Declaration of Independence declares we are ‘one people endowed with inalienable rights; ‘ this means that no one needs to live under the oppression of another.
I believe that the promise of the American Revolution will never come to end; that enlightened people will continue to inspire others to open their eyes to the rights of all mankind to forward the cause equality.
Fabric is cloth made from fibers. A flag is a piece of cloth with a distinctive design, an identity symbol. Old Glory and the Rainbow flag both represent freedom and liberty; one specifically signifies the struggle for equality. The most commonly seen Rainbow flag consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet and is flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow. The Rainbow flag has a long tradition displayed around the world as a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and also symbolizes the mores that everyone associates with ‘Old Glory;’ home, family, hope, yearning, pride, values and allegiance with one another.
Will the legacy of this generation be Equality and Human rights through education and enlightenment or the morbid diseases of bigotry and barbarianism? With liberty and justice for all: Let everyone gather around the flag pole, both flags symbolize diversity, inclusiveness, hope and freedom, and liberty.