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Column: Flags and our fathers

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

When I was in college at the University of North Alabama, I was able to meet, and in some cases befriend, people who hailed from a foreign country.

Through these interactions I learned that patriotism in the United States was on a level much higher than that in several other nations.

Not that we have more national pride necessarily, but in just how proud we are of our nation’s flag and our willingness to hang it from any and everywhere.

People from other countries corroborated stories I had heard in the past that U.S. citizens are much more eager to display our national flag, whether by hanging it from the garage, wearing a symbol of it on our clothing or mounting an actual flagpole in our yards.

One visitor told me his country’s flag was usually only seen on government buildings. He said he loved his country, and so did every other citizen he knew, but seeing our nation’s flag hung from so many places around town came as a surprise to him.

Personally I find no problem with the sense of patriotism many citizens of our nation show. Sure, pretty much anything can be overdone, but there is nothing wrong with a little pride in our country.

After all, many fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and so on fought and died for the freedoms that we enjoy today, and our flag is a symbol of both our nation and the way of life that we enjoy that those patriots fought to protect.

June 14 was Flag Day, a lesser holiday on the calendar to be sure, but one that gives us another chance to remember how much better life is in these United States than many other nations around the globe.

Father’s Day is June 17. This holiday affords us a chance to remember the men in our lives who raised us and took care of us. I encourage you to reach out to your fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers or any other man that helped bring you up and let them know just how much they mean to you.