Our family wanted to do more this year to celebrate Independence Day, so we put up additional flags and painted red, white, and blue on a heart-shaped flag. Judging from the increased American flags in our area, other families had the same thought. A nearby patriotic display gave us the idea for our new yard sign — “land of the free, because of the brave.”
We saw the same patriotic expression as we traveled from Virginia to Pennsylvania for the July 4th weekend and especially at a crowded Gettysburg fireworks store where customers pushed overflowing carts. The farther we drove, the more numerous the American flags. I thought of the War of 1812 and the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would become the National Anthem.
Although Britain had provoked hostilities against the United States, the War of 1812 had not been popular. Congress’ vote declaring war still represents the closest ever taken in our country’s history. Massachusetts passed a resolution resisting the war and actually pursued a secret peace agreement with Britain. New England debated whether to secede.