Stephanie Pearce: Honoring our flag, tradition, heritage
May 10, 2015
My flag. She brings me pride every time I see her. She makes me emotional when I sing our national anthem to her as I stand in reverence with my right hand over my heart. You see, my flag, she is sacred. She demands respect just by being.
Why am I telling you this? There is a viral "challenge" going around the internet. It's called the Eric Sheppard Challenge. This sick "challenge" has people throw my American Flag on the ground and stomp on it. I will tell you I watched one — just one of these videos and immediately became angry. I cried. I felt like throwing up. I liken how I felt to watching someone I love getting beat up and not able to defend themselves. I didn't understand where this "challenge" came from or why. Honestly, at first, I didn't care. I just wanted to find whoever I just watched and slap them silly for how stupid they were. Seriously, they live in this great country. They are free. Where is their respect?
After I calmed down, I looked up what started this "challenge." Eric Sheppard. On inquisitor.com, in an article on Eric Sheppard, it says he is wanted because a gun of his was found on the Valdosta campus in Georgia last month, where he participated in an anti-flag protest. He has since disappeared. The school even cancelled classes for fear that Eric would appear on campus and was considered armed and dangerous after being a self-proclaimed terrorist. Inquisitor.com quoted him as saying "I am a terrorist toward lies, I'm a terrorist toward Liars. I'm a terrorist toward those who are wicked. So yes, I am a terrorist toward white people. What I'm saying to you all is a warning of death that is coming up on this nation." He also was quoted as saying "That flag represents white supremacy racism which is plaguing the entire earth, so when we step on the flag we are stepping on white supremacy racism."
This made my emotions go through the roof. It is so disgusting to me that someone who is being "educated" can be so stupid. What is being taught? Really? Our flag represents white supremacy racism? Tell that to those who fought and died in the Civil War. Tell that to those of all colors and races who defend our country and his right to babble those untrue statements and get blind sheep to follow him.
Obviously this kid and his followers know no one who has sacrificed for them nor do they understand honor. I remember discussing WWII with my grandfather. I remember his voice cracking and his eyes welling up when he told me about being in Japan and how he would look for the flag because when he saw it, he knew he was safe.
My flag, she will fly and I want to encourage all of you to take pride and fly her more than just national holidays. I love her, and I hope we can get more to think of her like in the old Johnny Cash song, Ragged Old Flag:
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"So we raise her up every morning, we take her down every night, we don't let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right. On second thought, I do like to brag 'cause I'm mighty proud of the Ragged Old Flag."