The Flag

By COL Jim Rice, AW2 Director

COL Rice stands for the pledge of allegiance during an AW2 Symposium event.

As I was out running this week, I noticed the display of more and more flags in the neighborhood. Large ones on front porches. Small ones even lined the
borders of a few yards. I love seeing the proud display of the American Flag.

Perhaps it was spending a week with wounded warrior’s kids last week at the AW2 Symposium, but seeing all the flags out in preparation for July 4th made me think about saying the pledge of allegiance each day in school. “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Hand on heart, eyes on flag, all in unison.

Our flag makes a powerful statement. Where ever it is, there is freedom—or the fight for it.

Currently, each Soldier wears a flag patch on their uniform—which I often get asked about because it looks as though it’s backwards. But rather, it’s to appear that the flag is flying in the breeze as the Soldier moves forward. This dates back to when both mounted cavalry and infantry units would designate a standard bearer, who carried the flag into battle. The Soldier’s forward momentum caused the flag to stream back. For me, this patch represents the Army’s “forward lean” in fighting and protecting the freedoms represented by our flag. It’s a patch I am proud to wear.

During the holiday weekend, I’m sure even more flags will be on display and raised proudly in parades. I encourage everyone to take a moment to really stop and think about all that the United States flag represents, and to say a prayer for those who defend it.

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