Sunday, May 12, 2013

Guest post: How a Soldier Sees the American Flag

How a Soldier Sees the American Flag
Denielle Fisher

Many people have family or friends who have served this great country; some have even served in one or more of the various military branches themselves. Either way, everyone who is personally affected by service to the country sees the American flag in a slightly different light, especially soldiers. The flag means something more to them, something deeper.

A soldier has a very profound relationship to the flag. It is not merely a banner representing the country, but it is a symbol of all the things that we as a people hold dear - things that only a soldier can apprehend with perfect clarity.


There is a patch that reads “7% of Americans have worn a U.S. military uniform, keeping our country free for 100% of Americans. I am proud to be one of them.” Regardless of the actual percentage, to any soldier, the red and white and blue means fighting for freedom, the fundamental tenant upon which all our hopes are born, the ideal to which we all subscribe, but sometimes forget to appreciate. The soldier, however never fails to remember it. It is ingrained in them and they remember the cause and their purpose each and every day.

Duty and Commitment

The stars and stripes are the reason so many soldiers dedicate their lives to the service of our country. Seeing the American flag reminds them of the duty and commitment they assumed and endured to ensure the rights of others. For some it was moral obligation, for others a family tradition. Whatever the underlying mentality, the dedication and perseverance undergone is still the same for each soldier.

Courage and Sacrifice

A soldier doing his duty is not exempt from sacrifice. The courage they muster when times are bleak is something many of us will never understand. Bearing the burden they had to bear so someone else didn’t have to, is one of the greatest sacrifices of human kind. Many leave families behind, they face injury and risk death. Yet they do it anyway. A soldier’s bravery should be inspiration to all, but it’s not a conscious thought when we see the American flag. To a soldier it is.

Honor and Pride

Soldiers will often speak of honor and pride. Most, if not all, will display American flags in some fashion as the flag is a source of both to them. They gladly receive their title regardless of rank, and advertise their membership with clothing, tattoos, bumper stickers and other memorabilia. Soldiers want others to know they are proud to serve and display reminders wherever they can. The aforementioned patch is a prime example of this.


Thoughts of patriotism and the legacy are different in each person’s mind but the flag is almost always a part of the dream. Soldiers love the country they serve and have a passion for preserving the core beliefs it was founded on. They strive to protect it, keep it safe and defend its honor.

For soldiers the flag means freedom, duty and commitment, sacrifice and courage, honor and pride, and patriotism. Soldiers have an intimate relationship to the American Flag that we as citizens, who experience the joys left in the wake of their sacrifice, can barely comprehend, and never live.

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