Making the Flag
“Thou hast given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth.”
Psalm 60:4 (NASB)
Every year around the Fourth of July we here in the United States celebrate our independence. One of the most obvious signs of this celebration is the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of American flags we see adorning homes, businesses, and of course the graves of our veterans. And while we all know the symbolism of the flag—fifty white stars standing for the fifty states, and thirteen red and white stripes, one for each original colony—we don’t often think about the people who make them, stitching each star and stripe into place.
One of those special people is Aaron Alexander, a young man from California with learning disabilities. But he hasn’t allowed his physical setbacks to stop him. Each day he shows up for work prepared and dedicated, sitting at his sewing machine, checking every single stitch on every single flag he makes. His work ethic and attention to detail reminded me of this verse from Proverbs: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29).
True to that timeless Biblical wisdom, Aaron’s work has been recognised as some of the best in the country. It is so good, in fact, that his flags are now used to honour the fallen soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. And while this is an incredible honour for any American, for Aaron it bears special personal significance.
You see, Aaron’s father was a Navy veteran. And when his father passed away, Aaron himself crafted the flag that would cover his father’s coffin. The feeling of completing that task was both humbling and fulfilling for him. In his way, he was able to use his skills to bring honour to his father, who like many Americans, fought for that red, white and blue flag we all celebrate every summer.
Whether a US citizen or from another country, I hope we’ll remember Aaron’s lesson of honouring the service of those who have died to protect all our freedoms through taking pride and using great skill in even the smallest of details that represents our great countries. And even more importantly let us remember that all the gifts and abilities that we have as human beings bought by the life and death of Christ are to be used in such a way that they reflect the goodness, glory and faithfulness of the Lord and God of all cultures, nations and peoples!
Holy Father, the lesson from history is one where freedoms have been won against great adversity and sacrifice. May we too be prepared to sacrifice for the advancement of your way of life and ultimately of your coming kingdom. We pray this in Jesus’ name.
Study by Greg Williams
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