The American flag is not a symbol of conquest. It has passed above countless captive lands, and returned home when those lands were freed. Spoiled children love to whine about wars of conquest, fought for money and oil. What a sad little fantasy! The flag of the United States has never been carried by thieves. It rises over the sites of disasters around the world, glowing on the uniform of soldiers who shoulder their rifles to carry food and medicine. It stood watch upon the ramparts we built to save Europe from communism, after we saved them from fascism. We have made a gift of the future to broken nations across the globe, and often receive nothing but sneering contempt in return. We’d do it again in a heartbeat.

There is a reason the enemies of civilization are quick to burn the American flag. Their twisted ideals cannot long survive in her shadow. May the sick and starving people of the Earth always look upon that flag as a symbol of hope and deliverance. May tyrants and theocrats always recoil from it in terror. We almost tore that flag in half once, in a Civil War that left over half a million dead beneath her. She survived that ordeal, as she has endured every other. The children of a distant future will remember her as an eternal symbol of defiance against domination and murder. It’s a challenge we should all be proud to issue, until the joyous day when it is repeated in each of humanity’s beautiful languages, beneath every one of our flags.