I love the American flag. For me, it carries living military legacies, represents freedom to speak and worship and it symbolizes an improving and democratic nation.

I also consider myself to be more liberal when it comes to policy and issues of the day than most others who fly and love our star-spangled banner. When it comes to the display and appreciation of the United States flag, I find myself in a sea of decent conservatives and even extreme-right nationalists.

While I don’t take issue with anyone’s unique appreciation of our nation’s ensign, I am discouraged that many other liberals are quick to acquiesce the use of the flag to the right.

The American flag flew alongside Martin Luther King as he marched in Selma. It was raised at the Stonewall riots that sparked societal change for gay rights and it is flown by many at Black Lives Matter protests today.

The flag can accompany any liberal or progressive who is seeking their kind of life, their brand of liberty, and their interpretation of happiness.

The 50 stars in its canton represent every state in the union, not just the red states and their conservative populations. The 13 stripes represent an early rebel movement that sought a “more perfect union” than what was present at the time, and now anti-racists and liberals are seeking a more perfect union than currently exists, as well.

The flag means different things to different people, but it has no inherent political stance. The flag supports the American populace in whatever they will strive for and rally around. The Constitution protects our freedom to speak out and progress, and the flag makes a wonderful partner in any show of protest and discontent with society.

Erik Nystul, Heber City