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News > Commentary - What does the flag stand for?
What does the flag stand for?

Posted 2/21/2007   Updated 2/21/2007 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Lt. Col. William Knight
384th Air Refueling squadron


2/21/2007 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- We honor it before the start of every official function. It flies proudly on the tails of each of our aircraft and on our flight suits. Our nation's flag has always been a rallying point for service members and this is what "F-L-A-G" means to me.

The "F" in flag reminds me of the precious freedoms we enjoy as Americans - the right to speak our mind; the right to worship in the manner and place of our choosing; and the ability to set and achieve goals based on talent and merit. It was the love of freedom that inspired our founding fathers to form a new nation built on the principles of respect for our fellow man and the rule of law. As I look at the flag and see the brilliant red stripes, I think of the precious blood shed to preserve the freedom we enjoy today.

"L" brings to mind the legacy of those who have gone before us. Thirteen stripes on our flag, remind us our nation was born from 13 independent colonies. The 50 stars in the field of blue illustrate the magnitude of the legacy left to us born out of the sweat, blood, toil and tears of Americans who lived before us. Likewise, as an Airman, the blue field reminds me of the sky - the place where our Air Force dominates in battle. Here, visionary Airmen have transformed flight from something measured in feet above the ground and seconds in the air into the ability to land on the moon and walk in space.

When I think of the "A," I am reminded of who I am - an American Airman. As Americans, we stand for what is right even when the cost is high. We also uphold the highest standards of personal conduct as we serve our great nation around the globe. Likewise as Airmen we stand for timeless values - integrity, excellence and selfless service. These principles have stood the test of time, and while we will never be perfect; we can be certain those who live by these values will lead lives that shine as brightly as the white stars and stripes on our flag.

Finally, "G" encourages me to strive for a golden standard in both character and how I treat others. As Airmen we face many challenges unique to the military service such as combat, lengthy deployments, and never-ending exercises that fine-tune our war-fighting skills. But just as gold is refined through fire, we can choose to learn from each of these trials and strengthen our character through the fire. In short, if our attitude is right we can all become better rather than bitter as we serve. Additionally, just as we often line our flags with gold fringe signifying extraordinarily high value, we must follow the golden rule and treat our fellow Airmen with the utmost dignity and respect.

The next time you look at our flag think of what it means - we serve to defend freedom. We approach our service by striving to leave a rich legacy for the Airmen that will follow us. We stand for the virtues that have made American Airmen special, and we must never compromise our ideals. Lastly, adopt a gold standard for how you treat those around you and seek to grow in character while overcoming the many challenges we face serving the great red, white and blue.


384th Air Refueling squadron

We honor it before the start of every official function. It flies proudly on the tails of each of our aircraft and on our flight suits. Our nation's flag has always been a rallying point for service members and this is what "F-L-A-G" means to me.

The "F" in flag reminds me of the precious freedoms we enjoy as Americans - the right to speak our mind; the right to worship in the manner and place of our choosing; and the ability to set and achieve goals based on talent and merit. It was the love of freedom that inspired our founding fathers to form a new nation built on the principles of respect for our fellow man and the rule of law. As I look at the flag and see the brilliant red stripes, I think of the precious blood shed to preserve the freedom we enjoy today.

"L" brings to mind the legacy of those who have gone before us. Thirteen stripes on our flag, remind us our nation was born from 13 independent colonies. The 50 stars in the field of blue illustrate the magnitude of the legacy left to us born out of the sweat, blood, toil and tears of Americans who lived before us. Likewise, as an Airman, the blue field reminds me of the sky - the place where our Air Force dominates in battle. Here, visionary Airmen have transformed flight from something measured in feet above the ground and seconds in the air into the ability to land on the moon and walk in space.

When I think of the "A," I am reminded of who I am - an American Airman. As Americans, we stand for what is right even when the cost is high. We also uphold the highest standards of personal conduct as we serve our great nation around the globe. Likewise as Airmen we stand for timeless values - integrity, excellence and selfless service. These principles have stood the test of time, and while we will never be perfect; we can be certain those who live by these values will lead lives that shine as brightly as the white stars and stripes on our flag.

Finally, "G" encourages me to strive for a golden standard in both character and how I treat others. As Airmen we face many challenges unique to the military service such as combat, lengthy deployments, and never-ending exercises that fine-tune our war-fighting skills. But just as gold is refined through fire, we can choose to learn from each of these trials and strengthen our character through the fire. In short, if our attitude is right we can all become better rather than bitter as we serve. Additionally, just as we often line our flags with gold fringe signifying extraordinarily high value, we must follow the golden rule and treat our fellow Airmen with the utmost dignity and respect.

The next time you look at our flag think of what it means - we serve to defend freedom. We approach our service by striving to leave a rich legacy for the Airmen that will follow us. We stand for the virtues that have made American Airmen special, and we must never compromise our ideals. Lastly, adopt a gold standard for how you treat those around you and seek to grow in character while overcoming the many challenges we face serving the great red, white and blue.



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