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Pastor Bill Ehmann

Air Force Academy cadets keep a giant American flag aloft during the Air Force-Brigham Young University halftime 9/11 memorial ceremony at Falcon Stadium near Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 11, 2010. The flag measured about 55 yards by 30 yards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

It is good to have Flag Day. I believe every day should be a reminder of the significance of our American flag. It is a symbol of the freedom we enjoy in this great country. As long as it flies, we know we have certain rights and privileges.

The flag makes a statement of ownership. In a sense, each American owns this country. If we value and appreciate the relationship, we will do our part to maintain the portion that we call home. We will honor the heritage we enjoy because of people who gave us what we have.

When the American flag stands with those of other countries, it presents a cooperative effort beyond our borders. When nations work together for the good of all people, the benefits are without measure. Flags offer a statement of unity.

The stars and stripes on our flag represent the nation. While culture and traditions vary throughout the country, the 50 stars declare that we are one nation with goals and values that are essential to everyone. Those 13 red and white stripes remind us of commitment and faith of families who gave us the foundation of the country we enjoy today.

The flag made of cloth is like our Bible printed on paper. It is not the material but rather the message that offers life-changing information. We can wrap ourselves in a flag and not be patriotic just like we can read the Bible cover to cover and miss knowing God. A personal response is required to have these statements of hope become our confident future.

The flag is a symbol like so many others. My wedding ring says I am married but it does not make me married, keep me married or change my marital status if I do not wear it. The symbol tells the story but my heart and life declare the reality.

People who observe The Lord’s Supper or Communion eat bread and drink grape juice or wine in memory of Jesus Who took our sin on His body and paid for it with His blood. We could never eat enough bread or drink enough juice to remove even one sin. It is what the symbols represent that offer forgiveness and hope to all who believe in Jesus.

Some people feel the need to disgrace the flag to show lack of value or appreciation for what it represents. They apparently have not realized that they are destroying what actually represents the freedom they have to express themselves.

While I realize and appreciate the significance of flying the American flag, and I do that with pleasure, I want to remember that when I call myself a Christian, my life is a flag symbol of the freedom Jesus offers to all who will believe that He is Savior God. I want to represent Him well.

-Pastor Bill Ehmann

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