From the Venerable Master (June, 2011)

posted May 22, 2015, 2:20 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 22, 2015, 2:20 PM ]

Hal Leister
Our flag

The American flag is the symbol of our nation’s strength, unity and freedom. Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. These stripes represent  he original 13 colonies and the stars in the union represent the 50 states. The red stripes symbolize valor and bravery; white stripes symbolize purity and innocence; and the blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance and justice.
The purpose of our government is to protect the rights of the individual: freedom of speech, press and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; freedom to assemble; the right to a just trial by a jury; and the right to vote. All of these rights seek to assure that no innocent individual is forced against his will. Our flag carries American ideal, history and feelings. Every Color in the flag means liberty – “divine right of liberty in man”. The American flag symbolizes a government of, for and by the people.
The display and honor of our flag express our gratitude for those who fought and died for this country and acknowledge our obligation to preserve the freedom for future generations.
The American flag is also known as “Old Glory”. As Captain William Driver, a shipmaster of Salem, Ma. was departing on a voyage, some friends presented him with a beautiful flag of twenty four stars. When the flag was hoisted into the ocean breeze, he explained “OLD GLORY”. Captain Driver later moved to Nashville and after Tennessee seceded from the Union, he hid the flag in a bedcover. After Union forces captured Nashville, people began to ask him if “OLD GLORY” still existed. He took the flag out and with the Sixth Ohio Regiment raised the flag over the capitol. The Regiment cheered and saluted and adopted the nickname of “Old Glory” as their own. The Regiment spread the word and “OLD GLORY was adopted! Captain Driver’s grave is located in Nashville and is one of three places authorized by an act of Congress where the Flag of The United States may be flown 24 hours a day.

Hal Leister  -  Venerable Master