Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Why Banners and Ensigns?

Throughout my life I have been consistently intrigued by the power of symbols and symbolic communication. Whether it is with carefully crafted words, brilliant artwork, or the standard of a nation, symbols can quickly and succinctly communicate a multitude of messages to us. Of all the symbols that are in the world around us, few elicit the emotional responses that a flag does.

The flag communicates so much with such elegant simplicity. It represents the history of a nation, its values, its hopes for the future, and the highest ideals that move it toward its ultimate destiny in the world. The flag brings back memories of victories won, of accomplishments achieved, and of challenges overcome. It reminds us of the foundations upon which we are built, and then impels us onward to new achievements in the ongoing chapters of our nation's history.

Our flag graces the tops of our most important government buildings and monuments, and greets us each morning in classrooms around the country. When we come home from abroad, the flag waves its welcome to us from the port of entry.

The flag leads our young men in battle, reminding them of home and the loved ones they are defending. In honored glory it also accompanies our dead, reverently covering them in its folds as they make their final journey home.

In moments of celebration, the flag is a bouyant and cheerful symbol of national pride and joy as it is waved from the hands of children and from the homes of each proud citizen. In moments of mourning, nothing speaks so eloquently of national sorrow as a flag at half mast.

So again, why Banners and Ensigns?

Because symbols move me, and this name is symbolic of two very important aspects of my character - my religious faith and my feelings of patriotism.

In this blog I hope to explore some of my thoughts on these subjects. My goal is mostly to clarify and develop my own thinking on them, but I also want to solicit the feedback of my good friends and family members who can enhance my learning with their own thoughts and opinions.

A final note on the name - Banners and Ensigns:

Earlier this year I was given a Hopi name by one of my close friends in a rather moving ceremony. The name he gave me, which is intended to be a unique reflection on my personality, is: Oyi Yta Tuvoyla.

It means "Keeper of Banners".

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