Feature Photo by Jakob Owens

I love Inde­pen­dence Day.

I love the Fourth of July parades. I love all the floats, can­dy throw­ing, and march­ing bands. I love the old clas­sic cars and trucks and the shin­ing red fire engines.

I love the 4-H horse club and the poop­er scoop­ers dili­gent­ly clean­ing up behind. I love the beau­ti­ful city roy­al­ties. I even love the numer­ous politi­cians.

Most of all, I love stand­ing for the Flag.

Pho­to by Aaron Bur­den

The Flag leads the parade and it is most always car­ried by vet­er­ans. Grow­ing up it was vet­er­ans of the Great­est Gen­er­a­tion.

Today, vet­er­ans of con­flicts past and present march sharply side by side, two flag bear­ers and two rifle­men, car­ry­ing the Col­ors of the Unit­ed States with dig­ni­ty, hon­or and pride.

Every­one stands when the Flag comes by the first time.

There’s con­fu­sion, how­ev­er, as to whether we should stand on sub­se­quent times the Flag pass­es before us. I’ve been con­fused in the past as well, though gen­er­al­ly I would stand. After some research, I dis­cov­ered mul­ti­ple sources indi­cat­ing dur­ing a parade we need only stand for the Flag the first time.

I have observed over the years many vet­er­ans tend to stand and ren­der respect every time a reg­u­lar-size flag pass­es before them. It may be habit car­ried over from their mil­i­tary days.

Or it may be they, above all, under­stand the price that has been paid for those Col­ors to freely wave.

Pho­to by Ludovic Gau­thi­er

I invite you this Inde­pen­dence Day to stand proud­ly when the Flag pass­es by. When you place your hand over your heart, take a moment to remem­ber what Bet­sy Ross’ beau­ti­ful cre­ation has come to rep­re­sent.

Pho­to by David Bod­shaug


I encour­age you to look around for a vet­er­an to thank. You’ll most like­ly be able to spot one wear­ing a mil­i­tary ser­vice hat. Or bet­ter yet, notice who stands for the Flag and salutes every time it pass­es by.

Have a great Mon­day! Thanks for let­ting me share.

Les Pat­ter­son

p.s. Take 13 min­utes today as you reflect on the free­doms we cel­e­brate on Inde­pen­dence Day to enjoy our Nation­al Anthem per­formed by the USAF Singing Sergeants and this beau­ti­ful video trib­ute of Because of the Brave per­formed by the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir.

Les Patterson
I'm a creative storyteller, persuasive advertiser, strategic marketer, and seasoned entrepreneurial B2B sales professional. I'm passionate in believing Scouting changes lives and I'm honored to be an Eagle Scout.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × 2 =