Fifty stars and thirteen stripes waving in the air on university campuses around the nation, representing the unwavering pride, spirit and liberty of the American citizenry.
The American flag waves for those men and women who have and continue to stand on the front lines of battle to secure our freedoms. It stands for all of those who have immigrated to the United States with the dream of a better life—a dream to be American. It is the symbol of the Melting Pot, where cultures, languages and traditions intermingle freely and coexist peacefully.
Yet, there are some university professors who teach on American soil and influence the nation’s next generation of executives who believe the American flag promotes racism. Petitions have been signed. Flags have been down from flag poles and hidden away. It is a disgrace. These professors denounce the American flag for the sentiments of imperialism and colonialism for which they say it once supported.
Indeed, anyone who has taken an American History course knows that the American flag has flown in times of war and peace. From the founding of this nation, war has been waged to secure unalienable rights of the people and the nation grew in strength. As a leading world power, the U.S. has entered battle to make amends between warring nations, to keep the world just and safe. Americans then, and now, are proud to be a part of this legacy and tradition, proud to be American. It is this pride, this nationalism held by proud citizens, that professors claim contributes to racism.
According to Fox News, professors of the University of California, Irvine, hold that nationalism is a method of intimidation. The student government association at UC, Irvine voted totake down the flag out of concern that it would hurt the feelings of illegal aliens.
As I recall, there is no legal case that has found someone guilty or imposed a penalty for hurt feelings. If their feelings are hurt because perhaps they cannot identify with the flag, the symbol of this nation, in which they now reside illegally, they have the right to voice their opinion on such matters. And under that very same flag, law enforcement holds the right to deport illegal aliens.
Evidently they came to this country by choice, and if they do not like it they can leave just as quickly as they came. The flag is not a symbol of exclusion or superiority of nationality, but a symbol of justice. Is it just that immigrants for centuries have travelled to the states and obtained citizenship legally, while others sneak in and expect to be treated fairly by the system they have cheated? Is it just to denounce the pride of a nation for those who do not respect it enough to rightfully become a part of it or who seek to reap the benefits of the land of opportunity, but do not wish to identify as one of its citizens?
If our flag, our devout nationalism intimidates, well it is certainly living up to its legacy. Our flag represents the strength of this nation founded on the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, the courage of its citizens and the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution.
It is by these rights that these professors are permitted to teach as they do in university halls. It is by these rights that these professors are able to voice their opinions about our nation’s flag. It is by these rights that I am able to write this very article and you are able to read it.
We pledge allegiance to our flag and to the republic that provides liberty and justice for all. Forever may it stand.
Michelle Foti is a sophomore journalism major from Lyndhurst, N.J. She can be reached at michelle. firstname.lastname@example.org