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On this Flag Day, June 14, 2021 — the American flag remains a beacon of hope in some truly trying times. Throughout this country’s history, Americans have looked to our American flag as a symbol for all that is good in this country.

They have looked up at that flag with the realization that it stands for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are ideals that so many have fought and died to defend. Ideals that far too many take for granted today.

A close friend of mine shared an email with me that resonated on a very deep level. This email chronicles the story of the Mauthausen flag, an American flag sewn together by inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp in WW II.

The email reads:

In celebration of Flag Day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is proud to share the Mauthausen flag, secretly sewn by inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp in anticipation of their liberation by American forces. Inmates used a sewing machine in a workshop where prisoners had previously been forced to sew Nazi uniforms. They obtained sheets from the SS laundry for the background panel and used Nazi banners as the material for the red stripes. Not knowing the exact number of stars to affix, they sewed on 56 and waited for the American soldiers who, they prayed, might save them.

On May 5, 1945, their prayers were answered as U.S. military forces liberated Mauthausen and the inmates’ unique American flag was presented to their liberator, U.S. Army Colonel Richard Seibel (pictured with the flag) of Defiance, Ohio. Siebel flew that flag over the liberated camp.

After the war, Colonel Siebel presented the flag to one of Mauthausen’s liberated inmates — Simon Wiesenthal — the renowned Nazi Hunter. “America for us was a symbol for all we had lost. I barely weighed 90 pounds that day, and like so many others, I was too weak to walk. But seeing the American flag rekindled something in each of us. Every star on the American flag stood for something precious we had lost: One for hope, one for freedom, one for justice,” recalled Wiesenthal.

Keep this in mind every time you see the ungrateful youth of today desecrate our American flag. Keep this in mind every time we watch as athletes kneel for the American flag.

This flag stands for all that is good in this great nation of ours. The nation that embodies the last hope for true freedom in the world today.

Are you inspired by this email? Let me know in the comments below!