Confidently waving in the wind that is carrying the breath of every proud patriot, one symbol, above any other, marks the unity of the United States of America – the American flag.
Created as a symbol of national unity, national endeavor, and national aspiration, the flag tells of the struggles for independence, the righteous battles for freedom, and the sacrifices of men and women to whom the ideals and honor of America have been dearer than life.
The colors red, white, and blue did not have meanings for The Stars and Stripes when it was first adopted in 1777. However, the colors in the Great Seal did have specific meanings. The same meanings for the Great Seal now apply to the American flag as well.
“The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, red, hardiness & valor, and blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice,” said Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, in a report to Congress on the American flag.
A crucial part of the history of the American flag resides near Cabrini College. The Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pa., is one of seven locations across the US that has been selected to have the flag on display 24 hours a day, according to Public Law 94-53, approved July 4, 1975.
While recent attacks on America are rewriting the nation’s history, the importance and appreciation of the flag is also being revamped and more common. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America, an enormous surge of patriotism has ensued from east to west, north to south, as armed forces take on those responsible for the tragedy waged upon the nation.
On campus, Cabrini residents are also taking part in the history of the flag. Students across campus are displaying homemade renditions of “Old Glory” in housing windows, cars, and in their rooms.
Influenced by anger after the Sept. 11 attacks, residents of the on-campus apartments have arranged banners and flags to show their American pride.
“After the attacks in New York City and Washington DC, we thought it would be appropriate for us, as Americans, to show our patriotism on campus,” said apartment resident Amber Graham, junior. “We are proud to be Americans and we are standing united. No one can take that away from us.”
Heather Bounacoure, junior, was also involved in the decoration of the apartments and agreed that Cabrini students needed to show patriotism after the terror strikes.
“It was an emotionally disturbing event that has effected everyone in at least one way and that is why we wanted to show our country’s colors,” Bounacoure said.