Dear Editor:

I cannot say that I am an extremely patriotic person. One of the reasons for this is that I am a Christian, and that means that my primary allegiance is to another kingdom.  

But I am grateful to be an American; I am proud of the ideals which our nation has professed since its founding, and I am humbled by the sacrifice which men and women in uniform -- including many in my own family -- have made for those ideals. So, if dishonoring the flag means disrespecting those ideals and those who have supported them, I won’t stand silent while those around us dishonor the flag.

We dishonor the flag when we malign black Americans, who -- after their ancestors were oppressed for centuries here -- still find themselves disadvantaged because of race. When our neighbors have the temerity to complain about the injustice they and their children experience and we attack them for saying so, we dishonor the flag.

Whenever we are called upon to think about the flag and what it claims to stand for -- liberty and justice -- we all ought to be on our knees in acknowledgement that we aren’t there yet.

Storm Bailey