A symbol is something that stands for something else. This is the everyday definition of a symbol, but what most people don't realize is a symbol represent so much more... A symbol can bring a group a people together or even tear them apart. It's all about perspective. One person can see a flag and think it's just a flag, but another person can see that same flag and see their freedom and dreams coming true.
Personally I believe symbols are just another way to bring us all together as one. We might not all see symbols in the same perspective, but overall they unite us in some way. For example, we are united every morning when we say the pledge to the flag (a symbol of freedom). An eagle, the statue of Liberty, and several other symbols also unite the U.S as a whole. No matter the race, gender, or religion these symbols have an effect. After all you don't have to be a certain type of person to be an appreciative American.
In the past there have been some different perspectives on freedom. Freedom was defined in several different ways and symbols meant more or less to different people. After all everyone is different, no two people are the same. This is why we have the freedoms to chose our own perspectives. Not everyone is going to agree on something, but when a majority of us do we look at symbols as a way to express how we feel about it.