Our flag is represented here as a symbol of our common strength and bare-knuckled resilience as a nation. Its battle-worn and weathered appearance is telling of the challenges we face from external threat and internal decay – forces we, as a people, work against every day.
Rendered in the spirit of the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry during the battle there in 1814, this image reminds us that it was the sight of the flag on the morning after the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that became our national anthem.
This painting is dedicated to all those among us, who volunteer, who tirelessly ‘bind up the nation’s wounds,’ who counter national injury from abroad, and who mend our fraying unity here at home. It honors our fellow citizens who courageously love and graciously serve by giving to others one of the most precious things we have on earth – our time.
Whether in uniform or at the food bank, the hospice center, the homeless shelter or while supporting our Veterans, our schools, coaching or mentoring our youth, or serving others through our churches, temples, and mosques…the lifeblood of our nation flows through our neighborliness and our respect for others, it flows among those who volunteer – those who fill the gaps and take up the slack in our communities.
What our fellow citizens do for one another, every day, in communities across this country, is always more important to our national security than anything we could ever do on the battlefield. Quietly and humbly, selfless volunteers and good neighbors shoulder our inadequacies, our misfortunes, and our failures and renew our Nation's prospects for the future.
In challenging times, the sight of our flag has served as a source of communal aspiration, confidence, and courage. It is hoped that it serves that purpose here.