Norman Rockwell comes to mind when picturing a small business flying an American Flag outside for all to see. It is rather emblematic after all. And I suppose in a way it is a bit showy, and perhaps even boastful. But then again, isn’t that the point of a flag? I write this not to cast shame on those who do not fly our flag outside their business or home, because I cherish and would do anything to protect the right to choose not fly the flag. Rather, I write this to bring into focus the reasons I do fly the flag.
Upon completion of my business in November of 2011, I took it upon myself to find a place in town that sells American Flags (made in America), with the intention of flying it out front for all to see. In retrospect, it was a foregone conclusion in my mind to do so. There was no debate as to whether or not I would. But the question “why” remains, and as I hoist Old Glory onto her perch each morning, I can’t help but reflect.
The reason is simple. My business is an accomplishment. It is years upon years of planning and raw diligence incarnate. The flag out front is a symbol that loudly states that America is still a place where your fortune, whatever that may be, is simply on the other side of your best effort. To put it bluntly, hard work pays off. Even though most interpret that as a law of nature, the beauty of America is that we embrace it… nay, we apply it!
My flag says that American ingenuity, or more to the point human ingenuity, is a force of nature. It says with each whip in the wind that the only thing required of you is all you’ve got. But that after you’ve given it, shame is something you’ll never again have to experience. It makes no promise of success, for what is success? But it does guarantee that your effort will always be paid back in pride, and that is something no amount of money can buy.
Old Glory sees past inabilities when she looks upon us. She sees only potential, and promises that no matter your skill set, no matter your abilities, they are ample, and will more than suffice, assuming you give it your best shot.
So the next time you drive by The Ventura Meat Company, and see Old Glory waving in the wind, don’t think of it as mere obligatory gesture. It is a proclamation that America is still The Promised Land, but that a piece of that land is never given, and can only be earned.