THE STAR SPANGLED SERPENT
And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Forging a serpent out of brass in the desert wilderness would have been time-intensive and complicated. But the task given to the Israelites once the serpent was perched on the pole was perplexedly simple. Just look at it. Simply behold the thing that is placed before you so that you may live.
A recent study done in 2008-’09 indicated that the mere visual presence of the American flag causes people to think and act more patriotically, more conservatively. A group of 200 volunteers where split in two with one half of the group exposed daily to images of Old Glory. The other group had no controlled exposure to the flag. The flags were simply icons placed on half of the computer screens upon which the volunteers were taking identical surveys unrelated to the Stars and Stripes. The test indicated that those who had been exposed to the flag icons ended up voting mostly for John McCain, and those without the flag, for Barak Obama. A follow-up survey conducted some 8 months later indicated that those with the pro-Republican bias, had retained that sentiment and were markedly unhappy with President Obama’s job performance. The conclusion of the researchers was that the symbolic power of the American flag can sway both sentiment and behavior, and does so with permanence.
The American Flag has, in the last several decades, been a symbolic dividing line between Left and Right. This is not to say that Democrat politicians do not frame themselves with flags in public appearances and portraits. It is not to say that most rank and file Democrats and many Liberals do not have a measure of reverence for Old Glory. But the presence of the American Flag in civil demonstrations clearly demonstrates devotion to America, the Constitution, and the principles of human liberty. The absence of the American flag is indicative of “fundamental transformation,” a rejection of Capitalism and free markets, an eschewing of constitutional government, and a forgetting that the United States of America is the freest, most compassionate, most charitable, and most prosperous nation in the history of the world.
The American flag, at this juncture in history, possesses a power that transcends mere politics. It has become the brazen serpent on the pole. If simply viewing the flag, without preconception or agenda, has the power to turn the hearts of people to more conservative, more American values, then it has the power to heal our nation. Simply look at the Stars and Stripes, and American will live. As Moses’ serpent activated the faith of the Israelites, so does the American flag activate the fervor of Patriotism.
The American flag is an ensign that draws people of all faiths to a singular, godly purpose; to save and restore this Republic so that future generations may dwell in freedom. Congregations may squabble, and faiths with differing labels and symbols may accuse and deride, but when America’s faithful are called to behold the Star Spangled Banner, they become united in a holy creed. The American flag is a secular standard that can unite people of God. There is no other way in a Constitutional Republic to draw people together in a cause which denotes the mind and will of God. The American flag is a non-religious emblem with the power to bring about great spiritual reawakening. For the United States of American is established upon eternal principles of moral agency, and to act in defense of those holy precepts, is a heavenly mission, set in the soil of an earthly sphere. We will not be able to separate the case of the Republic from the case of God.
This is the modern challenge to people who identify themselves as Conservatives; in order to have credibility as true patriots, true Americans, we must align ourselves more closely to God, to better exemplify His words and His standards for living. The American flag, like the brazen serpent raised high in the wilderness of Sinai, is a reminder that, to live free, we all must look to God.
by Marjorie Haun 10/9/2011