Symbols, Rituals and the American Creed

The American Creed, written by William Tyler Page, is an important statement that introduces many themes that Americans hold dear. America is known for its freedom, liberty, and justice that not only inspires people to come to the United States but also inspires people already living here. Many parts of American’s daily lives represent the American Creed for example saying the pledge of allegiance, the national anthem and the American Flag itself. Although these are things Americans may take for granted they represent what our founding fathers worked so hard to preserve.

The pledge of allegiance represents a promise between American and its citizens. We are promising to stay loyal in return the government will listen to the people who their power is derived from. The phrase “liberty and justice for all” is a phrase that illustrates what our country stands for. It represents idea of how all people in America are treated equally and how everyone idealistically has a fair chance to make their dreams come true. The word justice is also found in the American Creed alongside the word equality. These words are interwoven into American society and almost all Americans would use these words when asked to describe the ideas America was built on. Although these words represent our nation and what it stands for some people do not feel like they are being treated the same as other people in America. Because of this they find the phrase “liberty and justice for all” to be untrue. In order to fix this people have started peaceful protests one of the most notable being NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

Standing during the national anthem is an important ritual that has been present in America since the early 1890’s. Recently many NFL players have been sitting for the National Anthem in an attempt to raise awareness for the rights they feel are being infringed by both the United States and its citizens. These protesters however still follow the American Creed by respecting the American flag and kneeling as opposed to ignoring the National Anthem all together. They also represent the American Creed because they are trying to make America better and fair for everyone. This protest, although it seems like it would be something that all together would cause more problems for our nation, has brought teams together as they unite in support of their teammates who are protesting. The National Anthem is a sign of patriotism and pride in our country which is also strongly expressed in the American creed. “[It] is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; and to obey its laws.” This quote from the American Creed demonstrates how much patriotism Page has for our nation. Patriotism like this is also found in the National Anthem through phrases like, “What so proudly we hailed,” referring to the flag. Our patriotism also defines us as a nation. So many people have given their lives to keep us safe because of their love for America and what it represents. Patriotism can also be found through the image of the American flag.

The American Flag represents valor, purity, vigilance and justice. These are all very important themes that are furthered by the American Creed. The American Flag is can be found in every public school classroom, in front of many houses, and in many gyms and sports arenas. Because of this it is hard to go a day without seeing an American Flag somewhere. This demonstrates how proud people are of their nation much like Page demonstrates in the American Creed. The flag is the epitome of what America represents combining both the ideas of freedom, equality and the patriotism that so many Americans have. The first American Flag was created and used to help declare freedom from Great Britain who we believed was not giving us the rights we deserved as British citizens. The flag is now seen as a symbol of freedom and equality across the world.

The American Creed can be seen almost every day in American life through symbols like the flag and rituals like the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. These symbols remind people how strong peoples love for America is but also how much more we have to work to make sure our nation’s ideals protect every American citizen. 




Emerald Coast National Writing Project Gulf Breeze High School

Mrs. Parker's American History Class

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