This essay breaks the American Creed into three sections which it could be related to: symbols, words, and rituals. It goes into depth on how these three is shown in everyday life by Americans.

We became a nation on July 4, 1776. Our forefathers built this country as a “city upon a hill”. When our forefathers created this country’s Constitution and Bill of Rights we were setting an example for other nations to follow. In 1917, William Tyler Page gave a speech about what being an American means. This speech is commonly referred to as the American Creed. The American Creed can be expressed by words, symbols, and rituals that remind us daily about what being an American means.

One main symbol has been changing over the years with the addition of each new state, the American Flag. The flag that represents us as a nation brings us together at festivals, sports tournaments, ceremonies. It’s the one true item that unites all the people. It represents the freedom that our forefathers worked hard to secure from a foreign country, and even preserve through times of civil discontent. The American Flag is a beacon of hope to those looking for safe passage into a new and equal world. It represents the true meaning of being free and being safe from enemy’s harm. As long as the American Flag is flying proudly in the sky, America will always be great. Not only does the American Flag, as a symbol, represent the American Creed, but our military’s uniform represents it too. Page once stated,” I… believe it is my duty to my Country… to defend it against all enemies.” Our military does just that. The servicemen and women don on a uniform of green or blue and travel by land and by sea to protect this nation and everyone that lives under its flag from enemy’s harm. The military uniform is a perfect example of a symbol that upholds the American Creed.

Words can be arranged to make poems, books, and phrases, but words were always complied into a motivating speech over 100 years ago. Today, the word freedom brings Americans together because that’s what we are free. We are not tied up in chains, we do not cover in fear of an omnipresent ruler, we are able to attend the schools, churches, and shopping centers of our choice. Our freedom was fought over for years between the British, American Indians, and even between the South and the North; however, the word freedom was used throughout the time periods and is still used today. We have the freedom to elect our own President through the electoral college system. We have the freedom to express our own opinions whether they are liked or controversial. Also, the word democracy goes together with the word freedom as it represents the American Creed. As previously stated, as an American we have a choice in who governs us. Since the biblical times, the people were ruled by monarchs and dictators, but as an American, the slab has been laid for governmental officials to be elected by the common. We spread our system of government to other countries. We set the example as being “a perfect Union.” Overall, “freedom” and “democracy” are two words that represent the American Creed.

Symbols and words are freely expressed as a written or drawn form on currency, the American Flag, uniforms, but as Americans, we also express love for our country through rituals. Every 4 years, since George Washington’s 1st inaugural address on April 30th, 1789, the nation comes together to watch our President present his/her’s speech. As Americans we look up to the President, the person we have elected to govern us for the next 4 years to come. It is a time where we look towards the future instead of looking towards the past as so many of us tend to do. Additionally, every 4 years a slew of games is hosted for all the nations to come together and compete for the top spot in a variety of sports. The Olympics is a time where the nation sits on the edge of their seats and pray for our Olympians to win gold, proving that we are the best of the best. Communities come together to welcome back the Olympians and celebrates their names, for these adversaries represent our talents we are as Americans.

As the people of the United States, we are diverse group that come from diverse places with diverse talents. We are unlike anyone else, and we come together in times of need to help one another. Most importantly, we are reminded of the American Creed through symbols, words, and rituals almost daily. Being an American is a privilege that we must live up to.




Emerald Coast National Writing Project Gulf Breeze High School

Mrs. Parker's American History Class

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