The United States flag can be seen as a symbol of freedom, life, compassion and love of the American soldier and country.

The hope and opportunity represented by our national symbol was not lost in the 19th Century. French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville who wrote that America “as it hold the keys of the new world, its flag is respected in the most remote seas."

Our Flag not only symbolizes our freedom, it represents who we are. On June 14, Hastings is honoring not only the flag, but also what it symbolizes. We are honoring freedom. We are honoring the freedom to worship as we please. We are honoring the hardworking men and women who have made this the greatest and most successful country that the world has ever known.

President Calvin Coolidge said “We identify the Flag with almost everything we do hold dear on earth," and, “It represents our peace and security, our civil and political liberty, our freedom of religious worship, our family, our friends, our home. We see it in the great multitude of blessings, of rights and privilege that make up our country. But when we look at our Flag, and behold it emblazoned with all our rights, we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our ties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done. A yearly contemplation of our Flag purifies that national conscience.”

It is not the colors, the design or the combination of stars and stripes that make our Flag great. It is the principles for which she stands that make it a symbol like no other. God Bless America and God Bless our Flag. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning or delivery to a Veterans Service Organization. You can find a good copy of the entire US Flag Code at the and Flag Etiquette guides are available from your local veterans service organization or through the Minnesota Secretary of State.

A local community ceremony will be held on June 14 at 7 p.m. at the Hastings Veterans Home, 1200 East 18th Street, in the dining hall. Hosts are the Dakota County Elks and Boy Scout Troop 534. An ice cream social will follow the program. For more information, contact Susan Register at 651-539-2442 or

Submitted by Dean Markuson