I must admit….Independence Day is my most favorite holidays….and the projects associated with it. The valor of our soldiers is overwhelming to my heart. I’m so sentimental over the Day of our great nation’s freedom. Every year I add at least one new decoration to my ever-growing collection of Red White & Blue accessories.
I’m about as patriotic as it gets….and then, Texan on top of that. With Texas’ colors being Red White & Blue….and it being next on my list….Texas decor fits the bill too…in fact, I leave most of my favorite patriotic jewels out year round…finding little nooks and crannies, even an entire room that is mostly the colors and attire of the American land.
When my husband, just ending high school…and I just beginning…wow I’m telling my age now…the farmers went on strike. It was actually kinda AMAZING! They all jumped into their tractors, and drove across country to the White House. My Father-in-law flew three flags on his tractor. An American, Texas, and The American Agricultural Movement flag.
I remember driving to my grandparents’ house that year…from Texas to Oklahoma…seeing Farm strike signs all the way. Being in junior high…I wasn’t totally sure of all the indications of the farm strike….but I knew it was big.
Now…today’s story isn’t about the farm strike, but about American patriotism….and the three flags that flew on my Father-in-law’s tractor during that monumental event. The 1,700 miles to Washington DC and back again flying on a tractor antenna were character building for those three flags. As you can imagine, they have a frayed and patina that could never be forged. My Father-In-Law was a POW…and the patriotism that ran through his blood was immeasurable. I can’t imagine him driving to our country’s capital without flying those flags atop his tractor.
I never knew anything about these three flags, they weren’t exactly priority during the first ten years of our lives. We were just a tad busy raising children, farming, etc. During this thing we call life, we, and I mean my husband and I, lived in his childhood home. Ten years after we married, we sold that home…after living there the entire time. We were packing up all our belongings, and leaving the home where my husband grew up….and we had made innumerable memories with OUR children. When I move…I’m always paranoid about leaving something…and I was in my closet standing on a step stool checking to make sure I didn’t leave anything at the back of the top shelf.
There…laying rolled into three neat little rolls…were those three flags…those treasured flags from the memories of the farm movement. These flags were way too special to be left on the top shelf of any closet….I took them, matted and framed them and hung them in my new living room. The have adored my walls since. Dave and I have been married for 24 years, and I treasure those flags more now than I did when I found them…and I think my husband values my love of them as much as he treasures the memories.
I think about how easily those beloved banners could have gone unnoticed and forgotten forever, and I almost get sick to my stomach.
I love the imperfection of the ragged edges, the black soiling of the tractor exhaust. The streaks are like the memories…running and weaving through the threads of the fabric.
I love the implication of collaboration of Americans for one cause. I can’t think of anything more patriotically spirited than that…can you?
I hope that someday, my children will see the value in these flags…more than just a representation of our country’s pennant. I hope that they see how they embody the true American spirit that this country was built on.
Here are some other patriotic stories that might interest you:
God Bless America…and God Bless Y’all!
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