Bob Beck

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands …” 

The Pledge of Allegiance

An excerpt from the national VFW: 

When we talk about the American flag – our flag – we’re not just talking about a piece of red, white, and blue cloth. We’re talking about our country. We’re talking about you and me and our parents and our friends.

We’re talking about every American across this great nation we call home. We’re talking about our hopes and dreams, and our plans for the future. 

We’re talking about our form of government; a government that even despite its own faults and shortcomings gives us more freedom than any other type of government in the world. It is a government of the people, by the people, and for all the people. When we talk about our flag, we’re talking about freedom.

Gen. George Washington contracted with Betsy Ross to make a flag for the new Continental Army. Each American Regiment carried our new flag into battle; a color sergeant was named to carry that battle flag. It was his responsibility to carry and protect our flag. If he was wounded or killed the soldier nearest him picked up the flag and continued with it; he became the new color sergeant. From this tradition soldiers still call the U.S. flag “our colors.”  

When I was first assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea I was shown our colors that had been carried during the Korean War. It was tattered and torn, but had a special place in a special display. I was told of its history: When the Communist Chinese entered the war and pushed the American Army to the south in Korea, the Division headquarters was about to be overrun. 

Headquarters personnel, about to be killed or captured, hurriedly wrapped up the U.S. flag and buried it to protect it from capture. Neighboring units were notified with a description of where the colors could be found. Later, when the area was retaken, the colors were recovered and returned to the Division.

Our flag is special because it not only represents our freedom, but because it stands for every single brave and selfless service member who has worn our nation’s military uniform in protection and defense of the American Dream. This is why we, your current and former servicemen and women, feel so strongly about our flag, and disapprove of any threat to our national symbol.

Bob Beck 

Commander, District 13, Oregon VFW

LTC, U.S. Army, Retired