In the midst of a war for our Nation’s independence, on 14 June 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted a flag as a symbol of our fledgling Union. The Congress resolved that the flag be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation. For generations to come, this pattern would serve as a compass bearing toward equality and justice for all.
Our flag’s journey has been long. It has seen our Nation through war and peace, triumph and tragedy. It flew above the walls of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, at the outset of the Civil War. It stood on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II. During the Civil Rights Movement, determined protesters on the streets of Selma, Alabama, proudly displayed its colors. Following the attacks of 11 September 2001, Old Glory flew over the southwestern wall of the Pentagon and the rubble of the World Trade Center. Today, the men and women of the United States Armed Forces bear our flag as they serve bravely around the world.
The flag is still more than a historical symbol: it is part of our culture. In our schools children pledge allegiance to our flag and recite the ideals upon which our Nation was founded. Families sit on their front porches under a billowing Stars and Stripes. And each day as the flag is raised above military installations and government buildings, we are reminded of the great sacrifices that have been made in defense of our Nation.
The Stars and Stripes tells our Nation’s story and embodies its highest ideals. Its display reminds us of America’s promise and guides us toward a brighter tomorrow. Therefore, I encourage all Knights of Columbus in Iowa to proudly display from Flag Day through Independence Day the Flag of the United States at their homes and other suitable places and recite publicly the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
God Bless America!
Joseph A. Ramirez