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I was on mission today and coming back to base I saw the United States Flag. The Red The White and the Blue flying and waving proudly in the wind. I was instantly in a trance and couldn't take my eyes off of her. She is by far old but still an amazing site to see. I sat there and thought about the flag and what it represents and what it means.

The Red- Hardiness and Valor
The White- Purity and innocence
The Blue- Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice

Hardiness and Valor, Purity and innocence, Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice. Principles of which every man/woman of every faith can embrace.

When hung at half mast, it is a sign of respect to the fallen.
When flown high and proud it is to represent just that, the level of pride and the symbol of what American is supposed to be.
When flown upside down it is a sign of distress, shouting "We are over ran and/or need help"


I would like to talk about another flag that people have either come to love and hang proudly as well or they have come to hate it for the sheer numbers actually flying it today. I asked several people that I personally know, asking if they knew what the flag meant and although their answer was good and could rightly so be represented as such, it was inaccurate.

I am talking about the flag people know as the "Dont Tread On Me Flag"

Those that know about the flag, its origin and original purpose knows it by its true name, The Gadsden Flag was designed and named after a man by the name of Christopher Gadsden. This flag was the first true representative flag of our nation shortly being replaced by the flag we fly today. Back in 1775 Benjamin Franklin wrote an article in the Pennsylvania paper describing the people of the colonies like that of a rattle snake.

He wrote:
"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?"

The main flag ship of the American Navy comprising of 7 ships flew the yellow flag with the statement added saying "Dont Tread On Me"

Now this is interesting to me as I have talked about it to people here in Afghanistan and hang it proudly as a drop down cover for my bunk. It is displayed proudly and in the open for all to see. I was recently pulled into my commanders office and was ordered to take it down as "The flag represents rebellion to the United States government and shows my open neglect of care and consideration of this." I respectfully declined and after being granted the freedom to speak freely I had set the commander and the First Sergeant straight.

I went on to let them know that it indeed is used as a symbol to Militia groups and those that tend to be what I call True Americans as they fight for the rights liberties and justice that the Americans are supposed to have. I let them know and I desire to educate you all as well. The Gadsden "Dont Tread On Me" flag is used as a unit patch for the Navy. The Navy also uses the Gadsden flag on the main mast of the eldest ship in the fleet kinda like the main mast on the flag ship way back when. The attack on the twin towers changed that a little. Now any respecting Naval fleet you look at will have every ship flying this flag a symbol to those who oppose that we do indeed remember. (Or do we until now)

The point of this is to get the knowledge out there because I am getting a little upset at how much people complain about things or support things but have no solid backing for the reasons why. If you fly the flag please fly it for a better reason than others are doing it or it looks cool.
Have pride for it may soon come that we respectfully pull Ol Glory down and Keep her safe while we defend her until she can fly high and proud once again, shining in the darkness as the symbol she is supposed to be.

The Gadsden flag in my opinion was the first American flag and should be just as respected especially in a time we find ourselves in now. Fly both high and proud and let everyone see that you know your history and you are supportive of the facts that make both what they are.

Forgive me if I made it sound like I dont want the American Flag any longer that was not my intentions at all but the flag is a symbol of something so much more and right now with our society, the lack of moral values, the tyranny and the unpatriotic people we have running this country, I cannot bring myself to find justification of her still flying.

Again if you have something ill to say in reply I politely request you mail me your comments but if you absolutely feel that it is needed to be witnessed here then so be it.

I am a patriot and a soldier. I love my country and where she came from. I will fight to see her justified and proud once again with the last of my dying breath.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Can't believe you were told to take down the Gadsden flag. I've taken mine with me on two deployments, and I've never had an issue with it. Heck, when we deployed to Haiti in '10 I hung it up in the common room that half of my company shared. The CO walked by, asked who put up the flag, and then said something along the lines of "that's bad ass".
 

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I was on mission today and coming back to base I saw the United States Flag. The Red The White and the Blue flying and waving proudly in the wind. I was instantly in a trance and couldn't take my eyes off of her. She is by far old but still an amazing site to see. I sat there and thought about the flag and what it represents and what it means.

Have pride for it may soon come that we respectfully pull Ol Glory down and Keep her safe while we defend her until she can fly high and proud once again, shining in the darkness as the symbol she is supposed to be.
Thank you for serving our country. That was an excellent essay.
My love affair with the American flag began a day after my 21st birthday. I had arrived in Vietnam and processed in, and was put on a C-123 bound for my destination, a base camp not far from the DMZ. The PSP airstrip there had been damaged in an NVA shelling and we were diverted to a Marine combat base nearby. 4 of us then had to catch a ride on a truck through Indian Country to where we were supposed to be. I was young, scared, never been shot at and when we arrived at the home of the 1st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and I saw Old Glory flying over the command bunker I got a feeling that has never left me and I still have today, over 43 years later.

The Flag is a symbol of an idea. Not of a people, because people are imperfect. Not of a government, for government is composed of mere men and women. No, the Flag is so much more than that.
I love our country. I don't care too much for some of it's peoples, and I do not trust our government one whit. But I love the ideals our Flag represents. I fervently pray each day we, as a people, can once again return to what the American Flag truly represents.

Thank you again for serving our country. Keep your head down. Your buddies may be worth dying for, but our current government is not.
 

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Its tough when we had our flag divided in the Civil War. I love our flag and the freedom and liberty it stands for. Im thinking the 13 star version we started with was the best version we had. But dont find anything wrong with what we have.

Do I like the people that "own" our flag and represent it to the rest of the world. No. I think they are dishonoring it. The ideals it represents are not being followed faithfully and with good purpose in many situations.

And thank you Betrayed for a well written testimony and Stay Safe.
 

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The American flag is an interesting topic to me, just as the sentence, "Thank you for serving our nation."

None of us have served our "nation." Sure, that might have been your intention (as it was mine when I joined the military in 1982) but intention and reality are two different things. We have unwittingly served the military/industrial complex at the expense of the citizens and the concepts found in the constitution.

Regarding the federal flag, it should be remembered that the founders saw themselves as proud members of their states. That is to say, Thomas Jefferson would have proudly told the curious that he was a Virginian, and not an American.

Your commander and first sergeant have valid points in that the Gadsden flag is used by those of us who know the federal government is overstepping its constitutional boundaries and is being controlled by and for the benefit of entities who offer no allegiance to this nation. The problem is that your leadership see allegiance to the vision of the founders as a bad thing and prefer to blindly follow Old Glory as it is being held by those who squat over the constitution.

Come home safely, brother. You are needed here.
 
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