Saturday our oldest daughter Holly rode with the National Baby Food Festival Queen’s Court in a parade in Muskegon. It was an all-American, beautiful day. While we were waiting for the parade to start I was instructing the little guys on the proper way to behave when Old Glory passes.
I grew up through the seventies when it seemed flag etiquette was rare and patriotism was out of fashion. War protests were constantly in the news. Flags were burned in the streets. My grandfather served in the South Pacific during World War II in the U.S. Navy. He told me that during an anti-war period he once saw a young man with an American flag sewn to the seat of his pants. Grandpa said, “I’ve seen men die for that flag.”
A lump rose in my throat when I saw the colors coming down the parade route. As the color guard passed people rose to their feet in a wave and applauded their flag.
Flag burners and people who think the phrase, “One nation under God” should be removed from the pledge of allegiance should be glad they don’t have to defend their opinions on the public square with government tanks bearing down on them.
I find myself praying that the resurgence of patriotism in America will include a deepening awareness of our total dependence on God. The thirty-third Psalm puts it this way; “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” and the Book of Proverbs says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
May American flags ever snap in the breeze up and down Main Street in America. May church spires rise over every crossroad and every village. May the sound of the gospel be heard in every town and every city. May righteousness always reside in the hearts of the citizens of this great land. A revival of national loyalty and patriotism will not restore the favor of God on America. Only a revival of righteousness will do that. True patriots should pray for that every day.