07/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What So Proudly We Hail (video)

The American flag.
Her colors are bold, her design optimistic and celebratory -- a powerful symbol of growth, justice, personal challenge, and joy. The Stars and Stripes' home is America, but her hope is universal. She flies wherever humanity aims towards its highest ideal.

After September 11, the American flag flew as fashion from every car's rear window. Protocol forgotten, many were faded and neglected, finally littering highways as Old Glory was paraded off into another war. The flag has been battered, beaten, and burned in effigy of Presidential policies that have provoked her people and the world. We are a country fed propaganda in sound bites, from "finish the job," "weapons of mass destruction," and "activist judges," all wrapped up in absolutes and jingoistic pride.

The heart of America beats strong. We are a people undaunted by fear and hungry for new technology. Armed with grit, we are determined to learn from our stellar past and the high ideals of freedom and equality that America represents. This Fourth of July, the American Flag is unfurled with hope and optimism, soaring with the potential waiting in the hearts of its people as we wait for the end of a nightmare.

Times may change but the American Flag remains undaunted, ready to solicit a tear of joy, surge of pride, or a blast of an anthem at her spot-lit presence. The flag has changed in small ways reflecting her land as we stretched our borders. Constantine Patsimas of Privet Cove in Southampton New York showed me some of America's history in red, white and blue and I could hear her past promising a bright future again.