As America approaches another birthday on the Fourth of July, we find that there are many in our society that want to tear the flag down. This is obviously a small, vocal minority. But they certainly speak for many Americans today who hate America.
Here are a few examples of the flag being under attack:
•U.S. Olympics athlete Gwen Berry purposefully turned her back on the flag during the National Anthem at an Olympics trial the other day. No respect for her country’s banner.
•Gary Bauer of American Values wrote in his End of Day Report (6/21/21): “In a recent opinion piece, singer Macy Gray attacked our American flag. She said it was ‘tattered, dated, divisive and incorrect.’ Gray compared it to the Confederate battle flag and said it ‘no longer represents democracy and freedom.’ It no longer represents all of us.”
•Transgender BMX freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe said in a Facebook post last year, “My goal is to win the Olympics so I can burn a US flag on the podium.” Evita Duffy in The Federalist notes: “his 2020 statement makes one wonder why he would even be picked as an Olympic athlete, since he clearly has no respect for the country he will be representing.”
•The Oregonian reports, “Man Who Stole U.S. Flag and Set It On Fire In Front Of Portland Police Precinct Gets Probation.”
The flag may be under attack, but really the nation is under attack. There are many Americans who hate America.
The flag of the United States represents the country. And what is the essence of America? God-given rights and the consent of the governed. Dr. Peter Lillback, founder and president emeritus of the Providence Forum (for which I have the privilege of serving as executive director) notes that the red stripes in the flag stand for “hardiness and valor.” The white ones for “purity and innocence.” And the blue stands for “perseverance, vigilance, and justice.”
Some people say the American flag is outdated because America is fundamentally racist. It’s true that many in the American experience did not initially experience the promise of America, that all men are created equal. But the key is—as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out—the founders of America made a promissory note in the Declaration of Independence that one day this would apply to all. As King pointed out, America’s problem wasn’t its creed that all men are created equal, but that America was not living up to its creed.
What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July? We celebrate the fact that on that day in 1776, 56 men in Philadelphia who represented three million people in their home states, voted to ratify the final wording of the Declaration of Independence.
The central point of this document is that we have rights given to us by the Creator that cannot be violated by any human authority. The founders declared independence from England, while declaring dependence on Almighty God.
The strict secularists who are trying to remove any vestige of God from the public arena need to realize that in doing so, they are ultimately undermining everyone’s freedom, including their own. Wherever atheistic systems such as Communism or Socialism take over, people lose their rights; then the killing begins.
In a secular state, to whom can the dissident appeal? There is only the state. In contrast, in one nation under God—which the founders created—we can ultimately appeal to God. One of the flags at the time of independence even declares, “An Appeal to Heaven.” Since our rights come from God, it’s not up to the state to determine if we even have rights. What the state gives, the state can take away. That is not true with God-given rights.
The founders declared that they were “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” Lillback once pointed out to me that this is a reference to Jesus in the Declaration. Jesus is the Judge, and the founders knew that.
Does the flag still stand for freedom? One of the most poignant scenes in any movie I’ve ever seen was in “Not Without My Daughter” (1991), starring Sally Field. She and her daughter manage to escape from sharia law and her abusive husband in Iran. The film reaches its climax when they finally escape to nearby Turkey and see the American flag waving outside the American embassy. Seeing that flag and the freedom it represents makes you instantly want to cry.
The flag, whole or tattered, declares: God-given rights, self-government under God, and freedom. Think of the incredible sacrifice of all those who paid “the last full measure of devotion” to our country, defending that flag. And ironically, the flag even symbolizes the freedom that its opponents have in voicing their opposition to it.
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of the Providence Forum, an outreach of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air host. He has written/co-written 33 books, including George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.). www.djkm.org? @newcombejerry www.jerrynewcombe.com