Saturday, June 27, 2015

Stars and Stripes

When I think about July 4th, I think about our American Flag and what it represents.  So, I asked my class what this day means to them. A young boy stated, “It’s when you get to see fireworks." This is one of the responses I expected, so I asked why do we have fireworks? He just shrugged his shoulders. Another student  responded and said, “To celebrate our Independence from England.” Great answer I told him. I explained that before the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Adams imagined a huge fireworks display as part of the occasion, and made it happen.  On July 3, 1776, in a letter to Abigail Adams, he said that our independence should be celebrated “with pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this
continent to the other, from this time forward, forever more.” The first fireworks display began on July 4, 1777.

What does the American Flag mean I asked a bit later. and sadly, no one knew the answer.  I told them that the flag is made up of thirteen horizontal stripes representing the thirteen original colonies and the stars represent the fifty states of the Union. they knew that. They had no idea what the colors represented, someone said red was for the blood that was spilled during the war. which was an excellent
conclusion.  I told them that the red represented hardiness and valor, the white represented purity and innocence, while the blue symbolized vigilance, perseverance and justice. As a homework assignment, I had them look up those words and then write them in sentences that had to do with July 4th.

We also had a talk about how to care for the flag. Most of them knew that the flag should be taken down at night and not left outside during inclement weather. They didn’t know that the flag was never to touch the ground. All in all, it was an interesting discussion.

Parents and teachers if you’d like your children to learn about the meaning of Independence day in a fun way, take a look at this YouTube Video. 


Being born in the U.S.A, we take for granted what we have. We expect to be able to say what we want, vote for the candidate we like, live where we want, worship in our own way, dress how we like and marry who we want. There are so many other countries in the world whose people are oppressed and have no idea what “Freedom of Speech” is because they don’t have it. In so many countries women truly are second class citizens with very little freedom.  I am so proud to be an American and very happy that I was born here. How about you?

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