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Listen to this audio essay:

Flag Stores

As the Fourth of July approaches people tend to think of our nation's flag and reflect on its importance. When the American flag comes to mind, the ideas of freedom and liberty are made evident. Some people think the flag is a symbol for our country and others think it is a symbol of our independence.

Mathew O'Connor is the proud owner of Humphrey's Flag Company, located in the heart of historic Philadelphia. The company is a family owned business that started in the late 1800s. Everything from the material of the flags is local and handmade, which ensures great quality. When asked why he was interested in flags, Mr. O'Connor answered " I'm interested in flags because they are small vignettes of much larger issues". Later when asked what flags meant to him, he answered " They are the continuation of history and the indication of the past. They are the past present and the future".

Located right across from Humphrey's Flag Company is the birth place of the American flag, Betsy Ross's House. Here people talked about why the American Flag is important. Through their words, different perspectives of the significance of the American flag are made clear. Brian, a local tour guide, stated "the flag represents our country's independence to accept responsibility for our actions". Brian feels as though it's not enough just to be independent, you have take your liberties and use them for the better. Another tourist stated that the flag is a "symbol of our country. What America is, what it stands for and what it could be". America has come a long way to be the "land of the free" but there is still more that can be done to improve our society.

On July 4th, the anniversary of our country's independence, people come together to commemorate how far we've come and the journey ahead. Kathy Walsh for example is going "to go to a bridge somewhere" to watch fireworks. Also, Michael, a tourist, is going to Washington DC to attend the parade at the national mall and he might be viewing the fireworks at Capital Hill. No matter what people think about the american flag one thing stands true; the american flag is an inspirational symbol for all Americans.