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Tales from Utah Valley: The American flag can be a symbol for us all

By Laura Giles - Herald Correspondent | Aug 6, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Big Betsy, a giant American flag, waves in the breeze after being unfurled with the help of members of the community and Follow the Flag on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Grove Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove.

Flag season — that time of year when we see the United States flag in parades and displayed throughout the wave of patriotic holidays — may be winding down soon, but the love and respect for the flag continues on.

Every year, the giant flag that flies above Grove Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove during the first week of July draws a bigger and bigger crowd. Even with the problems facing the United States — or perhaps because of those problems, the flag is a beacon of unity, strength, perseverance and hope.

That giant flag — Lady Liberty — has been taken down for a few weeks now, but her predecessor, Big Betsy, has been making appearances at parades this summer. Both giant flags, which are displayed thanks to the Follow the Flag organization, have inspired those in and outside of Utah.

Hundreds of people, not just locals, make the trek up to see the flag flying majestically above the Grove Creek trailhead. Some sit and stay awhile. Some hike below it. Others go up every night it is there. Photographers take photos. Hikers take selfies with the flag in the background and we see them all over social media.

The comments on the Follow the Flag Facebook page illustrate people’s feelings surrounding Big Betsy and Lady Liberty. “My Grandpa Rob always told me that the flag was the most beautiful thing his eyes could behold! Wish he was here to see this amazing display,” reads one comment.

“We travel from the wild, wild West, aka Sanpete! We adore everything that this flag stands for and everything that has been sacrificed for it,” and “I never get tired of this beautiful view,” reads another comment.

To many of us, the flag symbolizes freedom, history and hope. Others may look at it differently. Immigrants to the United States may see it as a symbol of a new life, newfound possibilities. To others, it may symbolize the opportunity to make changes and to better ourselves and our country. Others view it as a symbol of sacrifices made.

Whatever it symbolizes to you, one thing is certain. The flag can be a symbol for us all.

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