Symbols, Rituals, and the American Creed

Traditions and the things we do every day show our American beliefs. However, some that are fortunate enough to live in this land do not recognize their liberties. Our symbols and rituals go farther beyond the flag and the pledge of allegiance.

By Nathaniel B. from Crownover in Texas

“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” -George Washington. In America, we have certain traditions and acts that we do everyday. We have the freedom to be horrible, evil, kind, or spectacular people. And how we act, always has rewards or consequences. America was built on the promise of freedom, justice, and dreams. Symbols represent those dreams - one for our nation is the American flag. Everyday we put our hand over our chest and pledge to our flag to remember our freedom and the people who have lost their lives fighting for our country, but slowly, we’re getting divided.

For example, people everywhere are constantly fighting over whether or not they didn’t get to do something because of their race or gender and various other things. NFL players are kneeling during the pledge because they claim they don’t like America, and its baffling! Players in the NFL kneeled during the pledge of allegiance because “they didn’t like President Trump and they wouldn’t pledge for his country.” Behind the flag is much more than our president though. The flag is a symbol of our 50 states, the people who have gone to war and died fighting for our freedom, the construction of America for 242 years, the people who have started companies, and the people who followed their dreams and when they kneel, they claim they’re protesting for the rights they feel have been taken from them by the citizens and government. Everyone is drifting apart and not even thinking for themselves anymore. They all follow the people that everyone else follows and hates the person everyone else hates. No one can state an opinion without it being countered with hatred insults and being told they’re wrong.

We’re all familiar with the 4th, we shoot fireworks into the sky and watch them explode as the mesmeric colors fade. We celebrate the 4th of July as the day we gained freedom by adopting the Declaration of Independence. 56 people signed that paper that day. The reason we launch fireworks is because of John Adams. He believed that this day should be celebrated with “pomp and parade” with games, guns, and bonfires.

 Our symbols and rituals go farther beyond the flag and the pledge of allegiance, these symbols and rituals have years of history behind them and the history is constantly growing. Some people don’t realize this and they disrespect the nation as a whole while trying to stand up for something. This is something to remember and that more wrongs never make a right.

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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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