WHICH FLAG?

October 31, 2018

 

“Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth” (Psalm 60:4).  Henry Ward Beecher wrote in 1861:  “As at the early dawn the stars shine forth even while it grows light, and then, as the sun advances, that light breaks into banks and streaming lines of color, the glowing red and intense white striving together and ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent.  So on the American flag, stars and beams of many-colored light shine out together.  And where this flag comes, and men behold it, they see in its sacred emblazonry no ramping lions and no fierce eagle, no embattled castles or insignia of imperial authority; they see symbols of light.  It is the banner of the dawn.  It means Liberty;  and the galley slave, the poor oppressed conscript, the down trodden creature of foreign despotism, sees in the American flag that very promise and prediction of God:  ‘The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.’  In 1777, within a few days of one year after the Declaration of Independence, the Congress of the Colonies in the Confederated States assembled and ordained this glorious national flag which we now hold and defend, and advanced it full high before God and all men as the flag of liberty.  It was no holiday flag gorgeously emblazoned for gaiety or vanity.  It was a solemn national signal.  When that banner first unrolled to the sun, it was the symbol of all those holy truths and purposes which brought together the Colonial American Congress.

Our flag carries American ideas, American history, and American feelings.  Beginning with the Colonies, and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea:  Divine right of liberty in man.   Every color means liberty; every thread means liberty; every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty:  not lawlessness, not license, but organized institutional liberty---liberty through law, and laws for liberty.  It is not a painted rag.  It is a whole national history.  It is the Constitution.  It is the government.  It is the free people that stand in the government of the Constitution.”

Several television images of the “Caravan” marching toward the southern border have displayed individuals exhibiting the flag of their native nation, but not once have we observed anyone with the banner of their hopeful destination unless they are desecrating it. 

As Henry Ward Becher so eloquently stated, every fiber of the stars and stripes represents liberty.  True liberty is not just a desire of re-location for better opportunities in employment, education or healthcare.  Although we understand those motivations, those alone fall short in forging true, patriotic citizens.  The great essence of liberty is a persuasion of the mind and an unquenchable thirst of the heart for freedom.  Under “liberty,” Mr. Webster (1828) illustrates the word in several categories:  Natural liberty:  “consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.”  Of course, this requires some knowledge of what the laws of nature are.  Civil liberty:  “is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation.  A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression.”  Political liberty:  “it properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation.”

Those who would crash our boundaries have no appreciation, respect or knowledge of honest liberty when they are willing to abrogate the civil political freedom of others.  We do not fault them for lack of knowledge for they fall into the same category as most Americans who have been educated in the public school system for the past fifty years, but to supplement the pool of ignorance further presents a danger to the very survival of the nation.

The clear reason we have heard no objections from the Left is because the Caravan represents several thousand more potential voters steeped in darkness.  A sermon that was preached in Boston on May 27, 1771 by Pastor Phillips Payson said in part:  “The slavery of a people is generally founded in ignorance of some kind or another; and there are not wanting such facts as abundantly prove the human mind may be so sunk and debased, through ignorance and its natural effects, as even to adore its enslaver, and kiss its chains.  Hence, knowledge and learning may well be considered as most essentially requisite to a free, righteous government.”

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