Horses and American Flags: Why I am Proud to be an American

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Horses and American Flags: Uniting Crowds and Symbolizing Freedom

Many of us have had the opportunity to attend a rodeo. The horses, the bulls, the steers, the contestants, the funny rodeo clown, the entertainment… The list can go on and on. It is definitely a fun atmosphere that many of us enjoy. One of my favorite parts? The horse and the American flag.

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With it being the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I wanted to show the more patriotic side of myAGventures. This historical and tragic event brings forth so many emotions. The sadness for all the lives lost and for their family members. The hate towards the cowards who were behind the tragedy. The pride in remembering how American came together and overcame such a devastating event. The patriotism that is felt causing goosebumps and chills to overcome us when we heard President Bush speak about how America will overcome, when we watched on the news as memorials were set up honoring victims, when the names of the lives lost are mentioned one-by-one, and when we see our nation’s flag flying at half-staff on every 9/11 anniversary. Sadly, so many lives were lost. So many lives were affected. 9/11 was definitely a day that changed our lives forever. Despite the lives lost, it was a time of unity and a time of American pride, which is something so precious caused by such cowardly and horrible acts. So now, when I see our American flag, I remember 9/11. I remember everything the flag symbolizes. I am so PROUD.11997123_10153152976058333_793928841_n

Many of us cannot deny that there is something special about seeing an American flag being carried by someone while on horseback. The thundering of hooves while the flag whips in the wind is definitely a humbling sight. Then hearing our nation’s national anthem played while a horse, rider and flag stand in the arena is something that really is indescribable.

Photo Courtesy of Ron McGinnis Photography

Photo Courtesy of Ron McGinnis Photography

Witnessing our flag carried by a horse and rider is one thing.  Being the person who is actually carrying the flag while riding a horse – no matter the fashion or style – is another. I have personally had the opportunity to carry our nation’s beloved flag and I will be the first to tell you, it is one of the most amazing experiences ever. The amount of honor and pride that is felt is abundant and is something I will never, ever forget. Why?

Photo Courtesy of Ron McGinnis Photography

Photo Courtesy of Ron McGinnis Photography

Earlier, I wrote about how our flag symbolizes so much. Freedom. Hope. Opportunity. Hard Work. Bravery. Resilience. Courage. History. Unity. Sacrifice.Talent. Then you think about our nation’s military and the brave men and women that have previously served, currently served and those who will serve in the future. The ones who will risk their lives to protect our freedom. The ones who have lost their lives. The ones who have given so much for so little in return. In addition to the military, the rich heritage that our flag represents is something that should never be forgotten. Look at everything America has overcame and accomplished. From our country’s beginnings after the Revolutionary War, from rising back after the Civil War, from proving during WWII that the USA is a force to be reckoned with, experiencing how we came together after 9/11, the United States of America truly is a great place and united Americans shall always stand – no matter what.

When that arena gate opens and a rider carries the symbol of our country on a running horse, the crowd stands. The crowd stands as one to honor the flag, which as we all know, undoubtedly deserves it. As the prayer is said and the words of our national anthem is sang, those in the crowd focus on the red, white and blue. For a few minutes, the flag is the center of attention receiving respect and honor. When the last note of the anthem is sang, and the horse glides out of the arena while the flag waves in the wind, the roar of the crowd rings in the ears of the horse and rider. The roar of the crowd proves that we are one. We are united. We are America.

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Unfortunately, we are living in a time where the flag is losing its value in the eyes of many citizens in this country. We have seen our flag being burned in acts of protest. We see the work of our forefathers being unraveled day by day. We live in a society where hard work is a rarity and entitlement is the new normal. We live in a society where hand-outs is taking the place of working for a living. We live in a society where blame and excuses overtake responsibility and consequences. We live in a society that says to strive for equality, yet continues to thrive off of accusations of discrimination. We call for equality, but cannot find a happy medium of acceptance. We live in a society where people strive for attention instead of focusing on making a positive difference. We are surrounded my media outlets that thrive on negativity and controversy instead of covering the good. We live in a society where making money replaces happiness, marriage/family have lost value and violence becomes the answer to anger. We live in a society where we are steering away from “One Nation, Under God” because it is viewed as offensive, instead of being thankful for all He has done and blessed us with. Sadly, there are days, in my opinion, where this nation feels divided and lost. As an American, I do feel scared after what I see going on. Despite the fear, I also have hope. 

Why do I have hope? I see good things that are happening. I see lives, young and old, making a difference. I see the brave acts from our men and women in uniform. I have hope because when I do carry that American flag, there is a crowd of people that are standing together as one. I have hope because when I am at an event where the national anthem is sang – whether it be a community event, sports event, etc. – there are fellow Americans around me with their right hand over their hearts saluting the flag. I have hope after I hear that roar of the crowd after the national anthem or even after members of our military are honored. I have hope as I carry our flag atop of an animal which represents freedom, trust and grace in front of fellow Americans who are united and applauding the greatest flag ever flown. I have hope because I live in the USA.

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So next time you see our flag, it is my hope that you remember this post. Despite the adversity and controversy that is going on, we must also remember everything good about this country. We are free. We have rights. We have an abundant, affordable food supply (yes, I had to throw agriculture in this somehow! 🙂 ) and so many opportunities.

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I hope this has served as an eye-opener of just how amazing it is to carry our American flag, as well as how we should feel when we see our flag. We truly are lucky and we definitely have a lot to be thankful for.

United States of America – Land of the Free, Because of the Brave and will always be One Nation Under God.

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Until next time…

God Bless You All!

~Ali

*To all lives lost as a result of the tragic event that happened on September 11, 2001 – We will never forget.*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3eQmzw6n3k

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Calhoun Photography

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Calhoun Photography

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Courtesy of Lonny Matlock

Courtesy Way Out West Photography

Courtesy Way Out West Photography

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Comments

  1. A tribute, for sure. Thanks for the insightful words and photos that take my breath away, and I have my hand over my heart in honor of our flag and “for which it stands.” – Jolene Brown

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