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Flag is an awe-inspiring icon

Monday, June 14 marks Flag Day, a day set aside by Congress to recognize the American symbol and to serve as a reminder of what it stands for and the etiquette and treatment it deserves.

In an effort to better mark this day, the Suffolk News-Herald will publish a full-page American flag, complete with important flag information in next Sunday’s edition. Our goal is to better detail the flag’s history as well as the rules, regulations and history that have helped shape its place in our country.

Over the past few years, I have had the chance to learn a lot more about our flag than just what the red and white stripes symbolize. By the way, they represent the original 13 colonies.

One such lesson came from covering a flag retirement ceremony conducted by a group of Boy Scouts in my previous newspaper stop in Alexander City, Ala.

In watching the care and precision the Boy Scouts and their leaders gave the retiring flags, as they cut them apart in the proper way and then quietly placed them on an open fire, was a touching ceremony. Not because of what the flag was, but for what it represented. And, seeing those Boy Scouts learn that lesson at such an early age was awe-inspiring.

With the military influence in the Hampton Roads area, the American flag is often displayed in front of homes and businesses nearly every day, not just when the calendar calls for such recognition.

It is this level of respect, admiration and honor paid to the symbol of America that adds to its power as an icon.

In next weekend’s edition, we hope to pay special homage to the American flag and offer a little bit of education in the process.

The flag is a proud symbol for America, but the rights, privileges and opportunity for life and liberty are even more impressive.