My Name is Old Glory

by Howard Schnauber

I am the flag of the United States of America.

My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over great institutes of learning.
I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up! And see me!

I stand for peace – honor – truth and justice.
I stand for freedom
I am confident – I am arrogant
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners
My head is a little higher
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one.
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped – I am saluted – I am respected
I am revered – I am loved, and I am feared.

I have fought every battle of every war for more than 200 years:
Gettysburg, Shilo, Appomatox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy,
the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines,
the rice paddies and jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,
Guadalcanal New Britain, Peleliu, and many more islands.

And a score of places long forgotten by all but those who were with me.
I was there.
I led my soldiers – I followed them.
I watched over them.
They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima.
I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me,
and I was proud.

I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of
countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country,
and when it is by those with whom I have served in battle – it hurts.
But I shall overcome – for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stand watch over the
uncharted new frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have been a silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.

But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to
be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle,
When I fly at half-staff to honor my soldiers,
And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving
mother at the graveside of her fallen son.

I am proud.

My name is Old Glory.

Dear God – Long may I wave.

God Bless America

The Only Nation Under God

By Kristin Overman

As a kid I didn’t go to Fourth of July picnics, parades, or fireworks. I grew up in Spain. When I came to the United States I thought it was weird that Americans sang patriotic hymns in church. I was challenged to think about why Americans mix the state into the church. I didn’t really know. Other countries have good things. What makes America different? Why celebrate America in church?

I began reading original documents and writings of the founding fathers. I saw that America is different because of its inclusion of God. God was part of its beginning. I found that faith was forefront in everything the founders did. Benjamin Franklin states how central God was, “All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind of providence we owe this happy opportunity… have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?” They sought God in forming the nation.

In my opinion that is what makes America so different, its imitation of God’s ways. The men that founded our nation had a knowledge of God and understanding of Scripture.

There are many proofs that show their ideas of government came from a Biblical worldview. I can list one. The idea of the three branches of government in the Constitution resembles the three duties of God as ultimate ruler in Isaiah 33:22, “For the Lord is our judge, for the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king. He will save us.”

It is funny how a challenge can solidify your thinking. It ended up making me more patriotic. I love my country because it has sought God, and its system is patterned after God’s ideas. In my opinion, that is something to rejoice over as a Christian. Now, I make a huge deal for the 4th of July. I read books to my boys and teach them patriotic hymns. Little ‘soldiers’ march around the house as we sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. We go to parades, picnics, and fireworks. Those songs in church celebrate the God of the nation, not just the nation.