A friend of mine, Bob L., inspired me, through his kind thoughts, to speak about something dear to our hearts at PLP – the American Flag. The world has been struggling for months now with the worst global pandemic in a century. Individuals, companies and other institutions are trying desperately to survive, fiscally, if not for their very lives. As if that weren’t challenging enough, recently one of the most graphic and deplorable racial events took place that has further rocked our nation and ignited fervor worldwide around race relations. First, let me make clear that PLP stands resolutely with the black community and those that support it in rejecting the actions of those police officers responsible for the death of George Floyd. It was an horrific event, the likes of which has unfortunately been all too common in what we consider to be a modern United States. Clearly we have a long way to go to make our country worthy of the ideals we cherish.
So what of our flag in all of this? Should we wince at the site of it, feeling the pain of how short we fall in achieving it’s intended values? Should we feel ashamed, perceiving that it represents a failed country and the worst elements of our nation? On the contrary! I have never been so proud of our country, never so moved by the support of ALL races in ALL corners of the US standing up for the better ideals of what our country should and can be. Millions have marched in ALL of our fifty united states, demanding that we do better, that our institutions that exist to serve and protect us, do so with a blind eye toward race and treat truly equally, those whom they serve. I believe our flag stands not for the achievement of perfection, but for the ideals for which we strive. And striving we are! The American flag stands for hope, for dreams, for sacrifice, but most of all, it stands for action, the action of it’s people in fighting for what is right.
Our nation was founded by those fighting and dying for what they thought was right. It was bettered by those fighting and dying for the union of States in the Civil War. It was further secured by those fighting in the World Wars, and by those marching in the front lines for womens’ suffrage and in the Civil Rights movement for which Martin Luther King, Jr. died. None of these resulted in a perfect United States but the efforts were perfect in their principles and actions. All of those fights were worthy of the the ideals of the Flag of the United States of America, and so is the current fight to bring true justice to the institutional systems in America.
It already seems cliche, but we are going to come out of this stronger than we were before George Floyd’s life was so brutally taken, and that is thanks to all those, of all races, who are now standing up for what is right today. Our Flag should be raised high with the pride that comes with a nation fighting to overcome, once again. It is in the fight that we show our true colors, and Americans are fighting hard now, together.
Daniel A. Scheerer
President, PLP Composites