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Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

The United States Flag

Symbol of our Freedom

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"The flag...is a visible symbol of the ideal aspirations of the American people.  It is the one focus in which all unite in reverential devotion.  We differ in religion; we differ in politics; we engage in disputes as to the true meaning of the Constitution, and even challenge the wisdom of some of its provisions; we inject self-interest and cupidity into most of the ordinary transactions of daily life, but through the sanctifying folds of the flag, the collective intelligence of the nation rises superior to the wisdom of its parts, and thus ensures the perpetuity of the Republic."  Major General Arthur MacArthur

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The island of Iwo Jima is only eight square miles...smaller than the area of most American cities.  During World War II it became one of the bitterest battlefields of the war:  almost 7,000 Americans killed, nearly 20,000 wounded.  The bitter fighting that began on February 19, 1945 was so fierce and involved such a degree of courage, 27 Americans were awarded Medals of Honor for their actions there.

Towering above the small Pacific Island was a 556 foot extinct volcano called Mount Suribachi.  Two days of  savage combat was required before United States Marines pushed the enemy back from the shelter of its vantage point.   On the morning of February 22nd Colonel Chandler W. Johnson assigned 2d Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier the task of taking a 40-man patrol to climb the volcano and secure the summit.  Before the patrol left Colonel Johnson handed Schrier a small flag and said, "put this up".  As the marines of the patrol reached the top of Mount Suribachi they found a 20-foot piece of pipe.  They lashed the small flag to the pipe and the rest became history.  Two hours later a second group of Marines replaced Colonel Johnson's flag with a larger, more visible one and as it was raised to fly freely in the breeze the most historic photograph of World War II was taken.

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A person might wonder, "What is it about a flag that would cause men to risk so much for a colorful piece of cloth?"  But the value of the flag is not found in the fabric of its make-up.  The value of the flag is found in what it represents.  Think of it this way:

You have just gone to the store to buy school supplies.  As you walk back to the car a strong gust of wind causes the sheaf of notebook paper you purchased to fly through the air and into the street.  Would you risk your life to dash into the street to recover a simple sheet of paper?  Of course you wouldn't.

Now imagine that as you walk back to the car you are holding a MILLION DOLLAR winning lottery ticket in your hand.  To what extremes would you go to recover IT if the wind blew it into the street?  Like the previous example, it is just a sheet of paper.  But the million dollar winning ticket means more than paper, it represents something of far greater value.

Just like that lottery ticket is more than "just a piece of paper", our flag is more than just a colorful piece of cloth.  The red, white and blue STARS AND STRIPES that inspired the Marines at Iwo Jima in 1945 represented something of immense value...Freedom.   It found value in the sacrifices of almost 7,000 Marines who died at Iwo Jima.  In fact, since the birth of our Nation, more than ONE MILLION Americans have died defending the freedom our Flag represents.

 

Have you ever played the game "Capture the Flag?"  The object of the game is to...CAPTURE THE FLAG!  Along the way you attempt to take prisoners and to rescue members of your team who have been captured.  But no matter how many prisoners on either side are captured, the only way to win the game is to...CAPTURE THE FLAG!

This simple game has its basis in history.  For centuries the nature of warfare centered around capturing the flag of the enemy.  It didn't matter how many soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured in a battle.  Victory only came when the flag was captured.  Likewise, the only way to avoid being defeated was to protect your own flag.  During the Civil War, more than a third of the 1520 Medals of Honor awarded went to soldiers for either capturing the enemy's flag, or for saving the Union flag.   That is because capturing the enemy's flag was just like capturing an entire enemy unit, and saving your own flag was like saving your entire unit.  At the beginning of this page you read a quote about the flag that was made by Major General Arthur MacArthur.   Arthur MacArthur (yes, he was the father of World War II General Douglas MacArthur) was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the flag during the Civil War.

 
 

 

 

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As we tour this part of our BIRTH OF A NATION exhibit, you will learn how we adopted the Stars and Stripes as our flag and watch how it developed to the flag we pledge our allegiance to today.  You will also learn about some historic flags and how YOU can get a flag that has been flown over our Nation's capitol in Washington, D.C.

Before you continue the tour, you may want to click on my picture at the left.  In our archives you will find a most interesting story about Civil War hero Arthur MacArthur's flag.   You can then continue your tour.

OR

Click on the NEXT arrow to go to the next page is this series on the history of our Flag.  If you ever get lost along the way, you can click on the compass to go to our hyper-linked Site Map for the Hall of Heroes.


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History of the US Flag

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[History of the Flag]  [13 Star Flag] [15 Star Flag] [Pre-Civil War Flags]
[Civil War Flags][20th Century Flags][Our 50 Star Flag] [Flag Day]
[Arthur MacArthur's Flag] [William Carney's Flag] [FDR's Flag of Liberation]


FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS

How to Display the Flag The National Anthem The Pledge of Allegiance
The American Creed The Seal of our Nation Our National Symbol

Take the Elevator to a Different Floor

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Home Page

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MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
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OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.

Copyright 1999-2014 by HomeOfHeroes.com
     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)
OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.