This Sunday, our nation will celebrate the symbol of our republic. Flag Day may not get as much press as Memorial Day or Independence Day, but it speaks to something very important to our nation. Symbolism isn’t respected as much as it once was. We’ve all seen young people at a baseball game who don’t stand up and show respect when the National Anthem is played. I’m not here to gripe about disrespectful teenagers. I want to take action. For every one of those disrespectful teens, there’s a parent who didn’t take his responsibility seriously.
Parents, what are you doing to teach your sons and daughters about showing respect for great American traditions? The Pledge of Allegiance is a great example. Most parents count on the schools to teach their children how to recite the Pledge, but many schools are cutting back on the frequency with which the Pledge is used. Some schools are quietly cutting it out entirely. You can’t rely on schools to teach your children the importance of patriotism. It’s our job as parents to make sure our children grow up to be productive, well-informed citizens.
If you haven’t been taking the time to instill patriotic values in your children, Flag Day is a great day to start. Explain why we stand when we hear the National Anthem. Talk about the symbolism of the thirteen stripes and the fifty stars that adorn our nation’s beloved emblem. If you’re really ambitious, why not teach them a thing or two from the Flag Code about how to properly fold the flag.
No matter what age your children are, there’s something they can learn about showing respect for our nation’s symbols. There’s a culture of anti-American sentiment creeping into our national institutions. Teaching our children how they can honor heritage and tradition is one of the best tools we have to fight this rising tide. If we teach our children to respect the symbols of our nation, we can teach them to respect what those symbols stand for. Remember parents, no one else is responsible for teaching these important values to our children. It’s up to us!