On Sept. 11, 2001, one of the most memorable moments that emerged out of the death and chaos was the sight of three firefighters hoisting an American flag on a makeshift pole atop the rubble of the World Trade Center.
It was a signal to the world, an unmistakable gesture of defiance in the face of terror, an expression of our resolve.
June 14 was Flag Day, when we celebrate all the flag represents. It’s an enduring reminder to those around the world longing for freedom that self-governance is possible.
To those who view athletes’ protests as un-American, the flag literally waves as a symbol of protest against tyranny and injustice — namely our refusal to remain under the thumb of King George III.
It stands as a statement that our system of checks and balances is a guarantor of equal protection under the law, which is what the NFL athletes are seeking.
Faith in America, and its promise of opportunity and equality, is why immigrants waved American flags from the docks of their ships and why civil rights workers carried them on the march to Selma and why your great-grandfathers brought them along when they went on strike at the plant.
If you’re offended at the sight of citizens kneeling in protest because they want America to live up to what its flag represents, then it has to be assumed you were outraged at the sight of Nazis brandishing flags in Charlottesville last summer.
If that’s the case, then surely, surely, you were furious at the display at the Singapore Summit last week.
If the America’s flag stands for freedom, what does North Korea’s flag stand for?
Just last year, North Korea essentially killed student-tourist Otto Warmbier of Ohio after torturing him for stealing a poster.
For decades, the regime has taken numerous Americans hostage — Christian clergy in particular — and forced them to serve in hard-labor camps until they are near death.
In 2014, Jeff Fowle of Miamisburg, Ohio, spent six months in prison for leaving a Bible in a restaurant bathroom in Pyongyang, North Korea.
According to a new report by Open Doors World Watch List, North Korea ranks as the most dangerous place on Earth to be a Christian.
Yet, there we were, allowing North Korea’s flag to be displayed alongside ours, an image Kim Jung Un’s bloody regime will use in perpetuity.
The sight was offensive because it lent legitimacy and equal standing to a dictatorship that does not deserve it. Kim slaughters, imprisons and terrorizes his own people, yet was allowed to plant his flag next to the greatest symbol of freedom the world has known.
Now, we know diplomacy is complicated and fraught with many traps and detours. The theatrics can border on the silly, from who enters a room first to what shape of table will be used.
But some things shouldn’t be compromised. Meeting with Kim Jung Un in hopes of making the world safer is one thing. Granting him access to the American flag for propaganda is quite another.
But there’s a reason no American president had met with North Korea: Kim is a murderous sociopath and congenital liar who has broken dozens of diplomatic promises, just like his old man, and his father before him.
As long as Kim remains in power, North Korea will be a threat to all that the American flag represents.
— Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or email@example.com