When my two sons were little boys, we lived in a very diverse Southern California community, where the local gas station displayed what was considered the largest American flag in the world.
My younger son Jordan was in preschool at the time and very proud of himself for knowing how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Still learning the words, of course, he already knew the flag was a symbol of our country, that we needed to respect our country and our flag, that we took care of our things and the people around us because we are one nation, under God.
At that gas station one morning, he clambered out of his car seat in the back and stood at attention next to me, hand over heart and saluted the flag. Then he blew the flag a big kiss and said, “I love you. Amen.” And got himself back in. “To see the expression on his little face was to see innocence at its most precious.
But I wondered then and still wonder today about our loyalty to our flag. On Cinco de Mayo, my Mexican friends proudly display a Mexican flag. I respect the colors of my father's German flag, and my mother's Polish flag, the flags of their heritage.
People in other countries, no matter how poor, surely salute their flag and love their country as we do ours. And as much as I love our dear red, white, and blue, I can see a brighter day of harmony, when a flag symbolizing universal peace hangs above it, and we sing a new song together in perfect harmony.
My name is Sharon Nicola. And that is my perspective.