Once upon a time … in a land that now seems like a far away fantasy, the people were, well, different. Their country was blessed, the culture was wholesome, families were whole, cities were for the most part lawful, the countryside idyllic. The overall picture was, in fact, “Norman Rockwellian”. He painted the faces, the places, the culture and the dominating mood of that country … Our Country … “the shining city on a hill.” The fairytale was real.
We’re left with many images of what once was. And, an enduring emblem is still with us … Old Glory. As in war, it is now frayed and tattered in spirit and in reality. Abuse, apathy and neglect are to blame. A slow disease like a toxic vapor has been eating away at her fabric and the fabric of our culture. But, long ago and far away she was treated differently.
Our homes wore her proudly on special holidays … and for no other reason than we were proud to be Americans!
Our classrooms and school assembly halls were places where the American Flag was honored and the ‘love of country’ was taught and nurtured. The Pledge Of Allegiance was the first order of business to take care of before the day of learning began. “… One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
What happened to that wonderful place depicted in the paintings of Norman Rockwell and Grandma Moses? These words from President Ronald Reagan were prophetic and true. “If we forget that we are one nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.” Our very first president said virtually the same thing. This country is in an identity crisis. We are being told by the political machine who we should be as a people and as a nation. Told … and herded. They seek to seduce us into believing in a different dream … a very different “American Dream”. Look around at the popular culture scenery of today. It is NOTHING like where we came from. The world this country used to be was a world that esteemed moral values rather than the current trend to turn wrong into the new right.
Where we came from was a place and a mindset that held to values that many now see as hokey, obsolete, unfashionable and even morally ignorant. But, enough of them. We hear enough from them. What we do not hear enough of is encouragement to go back … and even “repent”. Uh-Ohhh, there is another word that fell out of fashion. Saying that word requires fire in your belly and old style guts. Repentance is an unfashionable and inconvenient truth that needs to sweep across this country. The hour is late. Is it too late? It is never too late to exhort such things and make them a reality. The elderly need to hear it, those of us in middle of their lives need to hear it … and the young who will be growing up in the midst of a cultural war especially need to hear the TRUTH. So, like our forefathers and their daughters did, teach and lead.
Include love of country and ALL that it stands for in your leisure time and wherever you find yourself in this great land. Our ancestors took it with them wherever they went … on picnics, on holiday, to events. They wrapped their entire being in all that our flag represented, they surrounded themselves with the values that made this country the envy of the world. Provoking the world to jealousy of the kind I speak of is a good thing! The best things in life are inspired by an abiding love of all that is honorable. Is that commonplace today?
Joy. There is joy in safety. Safety first happens in hearts that are unafraid to protect. You cannot grieve for your own life when the hardest of choices need to be made. A fierce willingness to protect all that is good in our lives will succeed eventually. The people who made this country great knew that. They had no illusions about what it takes to have the kind of lifestyle seen in these photos. Those folks counted the cost and they met it with an iron will. They knew that failure to rise to the need would bring sorrow and ruin. Their own ancestors told them with fervor. Survivors they were. Because broad spectrum courage used to be the norm in our nation, courage faced fear and won. Many children grew up in a golden era … in an America that they were taught to love, honor and cherish. They/we were also told that living in like manner would honor those who laid down their lives to make a wonderful way of life possible. We bless the past and the future when country is put before self.
On the lighter side, America was FUN and no one had more fun than Americans … good, clean fun!! We were known worldwide for it … and for our sense of whimsy and humor. Freedom, baby, there’s nuthin’ like it. And, that is what our flag stands for too … Joy!
Our flag was a thing of pride … wholesome pride, heart swelling pride, cheering pride in that which comes from honest work and a culture dominated by ethical behavior. Our country’s banner symbolized this: the majority of people in this land believed in what it stands for. That the day would come when we are told that our flag is offensive in our own country was unthinkable! The only offensive thing in this freakish modern day scenario are the so called “Americans” who say they’re offended by our flag or that we need to be sensitive to the ‘needs’ of fringe ninkumpoops.
Citizens “served” their country in a myriad of ways … not just militarily. Anyone who creates goods that make life better for others is a steward, a servant of the people. Not the least of which are those that raise our food. America was a land of producers – in the biggest sense of the word. BIG. We were the envy of the world in nearly every way. Inventors, manufacturers, creators of an infinite variety of goods and services!!! “Made In America” was the norm … not the exception!
Betsy Ross was one of those “makers”. So was Rosie The Riveter. Women throughout this country’s history have played a broader role in the making of a country than in any other … ever. We have led the way for women worldwide who yearn for the freedom and respect that our foremothers worked for, fought for and achieved. And here is a pearl of wisdom: they were not lovers of self, let me make that crystal clear. Being a lover of “self” is one of the ugliest lies ever promotoed in this nation! It isn’t love of self that makes a family successful or a country. It is setting aside one self for the betterment of others that carves out the greater good … and in the end we are blessed for it. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” in that order sums it up.
So, daughters of America, we find ourselves in an era of challenge. We need to be willing to wake up and take things very personally. The silent majority age – if there is still such a thing as it/we being a majority – must step up to the plate … not with mere words of agreement, but with action. It is time to grab the bat like you mean to hit one out of the park when it most matters. It is time to look at your flag like those brave men did in Joe Rosenthal’s famous photo (below). Everything is at stake, everything of any real value to you.
Daughters Of America
Beloved flag of our nation ~
Flag of red, white and blue,
Daughters of America stand
Steadfast, loyal, faithful and true.
Proudly we’ll hold and guard you,
Never your honor dismay;
All through the years we will bear you ~
Emblem of our great U.S.A.
Take what it means to be an American, a woman of divine purpose and power to heart and take it with you wherever you go. Wear a kind smile of humility, speak with polite assurance and bold grace.
Teach your daughters well the womanly arts, affairs of the heart, international affairs, why they are here and where they are going. “Hands to work, Hearts to God” … as the old saying goes. So much more is learned when time is spent teaching the young how to do practical things.
A woman of honor learns such things at her mother’s knee. We learn to value and respect things that we personally work on and work for.
We clothe the living and the dead in what we believe in.
Americans love to “lighten up”! We find delight in expressing deep things in lighthearted endeavors. A patriot’s heart finds ways to add love of country to the places we decorate. Creative joy is one of the finest liberties there is to be had in a land of freedom.
Perhaps the U.S.A. might turn back to what made this country more blessed than any other nation in the history of mankind. Nothing is impossible. In fact, the most unlikely people have, in the past, proven beyond a shadow of doubt that we specialize and shine brightest when the impossible seems to be absolutely that. But, what is required for the ‘miracle’ to occur? A heart humbled, a choice made, feet that follow, hands that follow through. Hearts in America need to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers … back in time … in order to preserve the future they worked so hard for, for our children’s children. Every era faces trials and tribulations unique to it and here we are.
If you happen to have a blog, below is a badge for you to post on your page. It is a simple little statement that speaks volumes. The farmgirl way embraces the American way of life. MaryJane is a star-spangled patriot working mightily in her corner of the world to make her America the kind of place she wants her dear grand-babies to live and thrive in. We are part of her dream, the big picture! That is all that each one of is called to do … follow a worthy example and then BE ONE.
Some of you might be visionaries with large-scale objectives and the impact you have may be broad, while others like me, well, my sphere of influence is small. That makes it all the more easy for me to better my little ‘corner’. I can handle a realistic goal. So can you.
Please take to heart what I have shared with you. The need is great. We’re living in a chapter of our country’s history that involves an unavoidable turning point. .
Daughter of America: Think, pray, do what you can as you are able. Opportunity will present itself to a player suited up for the game. There is no such thing as a passive patriot.
Yours Patriotically, Shery ~ The Ranch Farmgirl
Good one, Sherry.
Prayer is the key. And, of course, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that nation shall be blessed.
Well said Shery, I just wanted you to know I agree with you wholeheartedly!!! I truly believe this is our time, time to take a stand for our country, our flag and all that they represent!!!
I’m very concerned for the way this country is changing and its not a good change…..every time something bad happens we ask why did God let this happen. We have turned our back on him…I’m very concerned for the future of my grandchildren….I’m praying for all of us!!!!!!
What you may consider wrong in our country, I may consider right. I believe in a country of diversity and an acceptance of everyone no matter their color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or what language they speak. I believe human beings should not be labeled ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’ and that we should welcome all. I believe we have a moral obligation to make sure that everyone should have equal education, healthcare, food and shelter despite their circumstances and that we have no right to judge whether someone should be cared for or not. I know that 2nd amendment rights are not being taken away and that we definitely need to remove assault weapons and that is the only thing being planned. I think we have the best President we have had in the history of our country. I believe that the symbol of our flag is stronger than ever.
WOW, I am so grateful for the way you have written this article. Several years ago I began to notice that more people and business weren’t displaying the flag as much, but this last few years it has been very noticable to me. I mentioned this to my daughter and we had a conversation about the direction the country was heading in and I mentioned that people don’t have the pride in our country that was there so long ago. I’ve always wanted to write about this but didnt know how to say it. Not so much about flying the flag but about the lack of pride, of who we are as americans and what do we really want our country to be. I feel like you took my scrambled thoughts and put them all together and said it way better then I would have. Have a great day Mary*)
Thank you Shery.
Very well put. Unfortunately taking America away from us started long ago.
But you are right it is never too late to fight for our Freedom!
May we wake soon before we find our beloved country taken from us.
God please not just bless America but heal her and bring our hearts back to You where we belong!
Congratulations, Shery! Your honesty and forthright declaration of patriotism is to be commended. I, for one, am sick of being told my thoughts are "politically incorrect". My ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, my family fought in the revolutionary war and every war since for this nation. We settled the West and helped build this country. You can’t take that away from me…don’t even try. Welcome to the Land of Opportunity, make your contribution, uphold everything we stand for and don’t ever take what we have fought and died for. Honor our flag and this country "under God".
WOW, you have touched my inner self. You write so poetic and so perfect to understand. I am an immigrant who came to this country when I was ten years old. I’m sixty now and I have embraced every aspect of the American life and would not know any other lifestyle or belief. You are so correct in all the points you make. We are at a turning point and we will not let our guard down so that OUR COUNTRY, our nation continues under GOD, we were founded under GOD and I personally commit myself to hold those high standards that we were brought up with. I hope that all who read your blog understand the importance of your message. Thank you, Maria
Shery: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. One nation, under God. I fly my flags proudly because I came from that older generation. After 9/11 my son gave me a flag made of beads and safety pins. I wear it on my jacket to remind us all. Great blog gal. Thanks
Well said, thank you for your prayers, feelings, your belief and steadfast love for our country. As the daughter of America, my father, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, brother, nephews, cousins etc all the way back to before this country was a country have fought and served, many gave their life and are buried in far away countries. I fly Old Glory with with pride, dedication to my country, the country where I was born, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO to be exact. We must take a stand, personally as well as collectively, to stand for our rights, the founding fathers may not have had everything perfect, as they were/are human too, however the principles stand to this day as our foundation. Long may Old Glory wave, God Bless our troops past and present, may those who died for their country rest in peace until we meet again.
Shery, I agree with you 100%. I will use some of your thoughts and words to continue to protect our heritage and country. Thank you.
Your sphere of influence is not as small as you think. That was beautifully presented.
Well said. In case you have not heard of it, Hillsdale College is one of the few colleges left in the USA that provides a classical liberal education (emphasis on the word "classical"). They require all students to take courses in Western Civilization and the American Constitution, and emphasize the intention of, and learnings from, the founders of our great country. They also offer many free lecture programs to the public. They lift my heart in hope, pride, and patriotism.
While I agree with Marion McCann’s (previous commenter) objectives, I respectfully disagree with her conclusions regarding the 2nd Amendment and our current President. There is a better way, and that is to return to the founding principles of this country…demonstrably the best way to achieve the highest standard of living for the most people.
Hear! Hear! Well said!
Amen! I think people should be required to actually read the constitution and amendments. This used to be required at the high school level to receive a diploma, but this proved to be too "hard" and was removed from the schools. We as a nation have become sheep, allowing ourselves to be told what is "good and right" for us. I believe that true Americans are not sheep but have become apathitic. It is more than time enough that we should make a stand, say "No more and no further." Educate ourselves, our children, and anyone who will listen. Freedom is not free, it was and is being bought by the blood and service of men and women who serve. Lets make them as proud of us as we are of them. Stand up for our Constitution. I also respectfully beg to differ with one of the former commenters. When the government feels that it knows more than the people it serves and starts to take away our rights, it is a down hill ride from there. It all starts with one thing gone and then it escalates until we have given away our basic freedoms. Check out history, not only ours but other countries as well. Shery thank you for a most timely piece.
Your post really rings true in every word. Our country is being undermined at the very highest levels of our government. Corruption, greed, and self interest have taken hold and common sense and decency are no longer fashionable. If we do not stand strong for what is right we will be silenced by those who want to take this country down. Lying, cheating, philandering are now commonplace and acceptable ways of living ones life in America. Heaven forbid anyone holds people accountable for their actions, now doing wrong is celebrated. I worry too that the country I grew up in is long gone. It is only through calling attention to what is happening that we will wake up, do the right thing, and keep America strong. We must stand together.
Well written Shery! We must stand strong and with God’s help get our nation back.
Dear Shery~~~All I can say is you are exactly right & I agree with everything you have said!! Thank you for speaking out & encouraging us to do the same. I will wave my flag proudly next to yours & pray for God’s mercy on us all.
Farmgirl Sister #971
Shery, thank you so much for these words. For quite some time I have wondered if anyone still felt like I do about our beloved country. It is also wonderful to read the majority of the comments and know that there are many, many of us still out there who want to bring back pride in our country and our flag. I must respectfully disagree with Marion about our president and the majority of the politicians in government. They have an agenda, and they believe we aren’t intelligent enough to know what is good for us, so they will run over the Constitution to put their laws into effect. I do agree with her objectives, but not with the way the government is trying to bring them about. Thank you again Shery. Your blog always speaks to my heart.
Thank you Shery for putting IT so well!!!! Your words should be printed in each and every news paper, magazine and Facebook page. God Bless you and God Bless the USA.
I believe there are many ways to be a patriot. The first amendment that guarantees your right to share your views also protects the seperation of church and state. Like you, I love gardening, keeping chickens, vintage things and nature. It’s why your blog has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years. I’m also the wife of a US Marine (who is a Buddhist), a patriot and an atheist. I love the diversity of our country and believe it is one of our greatest strengths as a nation. While I love vintage things and old fashioned simple pleasures, I know that the "good old days" were not so good for many women, people of color, and other people who did not fit a narrow "normal." I am grateful to be an American in 2012 and see great things ahead for our nation.
Shery, I loved your blog. And I agree whole heartedly that were losing our roots for what America used to stand for. I read an interesting story told by John McCain about when he was a POW, and what a certain young man did with the flag while in captivity. It puts tears in your eyes as to how important the flag and the pledge of allegiance was to he and his fellows prisoners. If you’d like to read it just google…"John McCain’s remarks about the pledge of allegiance" and you’ll have a new understanding and appreciation for our country, the flag and what it stands for. Hats off to you Shery for being bold enough to address a real and frightening issue this country is facing.
Oh how your words resonated with me today. I too have lived half a century in the " old America " and am saddened and frightened by the changes I see in our country today AND those that I don’t. Times are a changin’. We’ve got to get the train going in the right direction of common sense again! You couldn’t be more " on purpose " with your post Shery. I loved every nook and cranny of it! Thank you! Your sister and a Daughter of America.
P.S. I would be honored to add your badge to Dandelion House. Thank you for sharing it! It’s beautiful…
Amen amen —
Wow, a great post!! I really enjoyed it and agree wholeheartedly!