Elder L. Tom Perry

When I was a young boy, our family had a set of five of our country’s flags that could be attached to the front of our car. It was always a special occasion to attach the flags to the car on a holiday and watch them wave in the breeze as we drove around our little community. How proud we were to ride in our car behind those waving flags!

During my last year of junior high school, it was my privilege to be responsible for taking care of the flag at our school. Each morning just before school began, the bugle sounded and we would raise the flag on the pole out in front of the building. All of the students would then stand at attention in their classrooms and repeat the Pledge of Allegiance to our country.

We really cared for the flag—it meant something special to us! Whenever it rained, we would be excused from class to run out, lower the flag, and carefully put it away until the weather was clear to display it again. Each night before leaving school, the flag would be lowered, gently folded in a triangle with only the white stars on a blue background visible, and put away until the next day.

I have had the privilege of standing at attention on an island in the Pacific Ocean after a battle and seeing Old Glory raised to the top of a homemade flagpole. What pride filled my soul as I saw that symbol of my country waving in the sky.

When we lived in New England, our home was located in a beautiful little community surrounded by a garden of trees and narrow winding country roads lined with rock walls. When we first moved there, a small flagpole stood in the center of the lovely town green, or park. One summer day during a severe rainstorm, lightning struck the flagpole and it came crashing down.

That night a committee was formed to secure a replacement for the pole. Because the people who lived there were proud of their flag and wanted to see it flying even above the trees, a beautiful white pole was erected as a witness to all who saw it that we loved our country and our flag. It was breathtaking to see the red, white, and blue of the flag waving high in the sky.

I love to see my country’s flag rippling in the breeze high on a flagpole. It waves its colors before all the world and invites men, women, and children everywhere to worship God as they desire. It waves as a symbol of a country where we can all grow and make our contributions to a better world.

Wherever boys and girls live, your hearts should fill with pride as you see the flag of your country, and remember that you are all children of a loving Father in heaven who has promised peace to all the world if we keep His commandments.

Illustrated by Barbara Summers