What the United States Flag Stands For | Teen Ink

What the United States Flag Stands For

November 4, 2022
By rendesu SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
rendesu SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The United States—the land of dreams. The world’s bravest arrive at our shores in hopes of carrying out the “American Dream,” the nation’s promise to all.

The Gilded Age—the golden age of immigration. Italian families arrive on Ellis Island, with aspirations of starting anew after struggling to get by each day in the motherland. Now that they’re here, they still suffer: They live in the slums and sleep in tenements on the brink of collapse, breaking their backs in sweatshops only to earn a couple of cents, while the rich live unaware, not even stopping to ask, “How does the other half live?” Now Little Italy stands strong in Lower Manhattan. It stands because of the resilience of the Italian-American.

The Chinese spirit is fierce, yet Covid-19 taints the people’s name. Elders are pushed onto the pavement, and told to “go back where you came from.” Children are picked on at school, and accused of “bringing the virus to America.” “No more Chinese!” is spray painted on a brick wall. Little do they know, Chinatown stands strong in the nation’s biggest cities. It stands because of the resilience of the Chinese-American. 

The Native Americans were the first to cultivate this nation, yet their beloved land was brutally taken from them. Their home is reduced to reservations with poor conditions. Their culture is deemed “demonic” and forced to assimilate. Their long, glossy locks of black are cut, mourning the loss of their right to their identity. They wake up and fight, demanding the return of their sacred land. Yet, they still stand strong. They stand because of the resilience of the Native American. 

Sometimes, the land of dreams needs to wake up. The American Dream is gold, but the American Reality is red, white, and blue. Red is the blood we spilled to make our dreams a reality. White is our fresh start. Blue is the motivation that brought us here. The United States flag represents the American Reality, the reality of how our dreams had to be reached, our part of the promise.

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