Residents celebrating ‘Old Glory’

June 14 celebrates “Flag Day” – a day when millions of homes, schools, government buildings, businesses, and gravesites across the country will display the most recognized American symbol that captures the spirit of our ideals and freedoms – the American flag.

Since 1777, our “Stars and Stripes” have proudly flown both at home and abroad, representing the U.S. on every fighting front and on every mission of peace.

While our flag has changed in appearance as our nation has grown, the spirit of “Old Glory” has endured. Today, our flag is revered by nations throughout the world.

Those who see the red, white and blue flying are quickly reminded of the freedoms and values of the U.S. and of the brave men and women who have defended it with their lives for more than two centuries.

Each year, residents from communities all across the nation join together to celebrate Flag Day.

In Central Washington, the city of Tieton honors local veterans who have served in the military by reading their names and observing a rifle salute at their annual Flag Day Celebration.

In my view, not only must we honor and respect our flag and what it represents, we must also protect it.

I have long supported a Constitutional amendment to allow states to prohibit acts of desecration against the American flag. Outlawing the desecration of the American flag will preserve both an individual’s right to speak out against the flag and will protect the flag itself – a symbol of America’s unity, freedom, and values.

Whether displayed proudly in Tieton, draped over buildings in New York City following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, carried to victory by American troops in Iwo Jima during World War II, or boldly planted on the moon, the American flag has served as a beacon of hope throughout our nation’s history.

Our flag helps us show solidarity and pride in what America stands for. It serves as a reminder of the debt we owe to those who protect our freedoms and defend us every day.

Rep. Doc Hastings represents Washington’s 4th Congressional District, including part of Okanogan County.

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