June 14, 2018
It's a sign of victory, a symbol of grief, a beacon of hope -- but above all, a source of pride. Today, at 241 years old, the American flag is still the greatest reminder of how blessed our nation is. Old Glory has been carried into battle, draped over coffins, hoisted at Olympics, and cheered by captives in far-off lands. To everyone who sees it flying, folded, at half-mast, its message is the same: freedom.
Two and a half centuries ago, the entry for June 14 in the Continental Congress said simply, "Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Back then, no one was quite sure how long the nation -- or its flag -- could survive. And while new years have brought new stars, the greatest symbol of American hope is still the same.
When the NFL got too self-important for its roots, refusing to pay the flag the respect it deserved, Americans responded. That's because they understand that despite all of our differences, there is still one thing that unites us: pride in America. While certainly not all, but the overwhelming majority of people in this nation, have a deep appreciation for who we are and what America stands for. They recognize the flag's deep symbolism and the incredible sacrifice it takes to keep flying it.
Like most of us, football fans watched the year-long controversy of kneeling for the national anthem unfold with disdain. Tired of spoiled pros insulting their flag and country, they took a stand. They turned off games, stopping buying gear, and delivered the lowest revenues for the league in decades. And in the end, with double-digit support for the flag, America's patriots brought the NFL to its knees.
How the American people responded to the league ought to encourage everyone. We may be a country of problems, but we're still the world's last best hope. As President Trump said, "It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.