We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about a symbol? If a simple snapshot or still image can convey several pages at once, a symbol must be far more talkative. After all, symbols almost always mean different things to different people.
Take for example the American Flag. Long before we wore our patriotism on our sleeves, flags were used by different clans and tribal groups to indicate loyalty to a certain group. When states and nations were later formed during the 1600s, national flags served as a powerful symbol of a people's values and shared history. Of course, they were also used to claim new territories and possessions in the name of said nation.
Where are we now?
As we said at the start, national flags mean something a bit different to everyone. For most, they are a source of great pride, but for others they are symbols of intolerance and oppression.
One thing is for certain, however, these waving, fluttering, and flying ensigns elicit strong feeling and opinions from just about everyone that sees them. But no matter how you may see it, a flag can always represent hope in a better future based on unity and shared history.