A steady stream of people — hundreds each day — have walked up to the Grove Creek Canyon Trailhead this week, as they do every July, just to be near the giant flag that hangs there. What is it about a large United States flag flying in the breeze that draws so many people?
Some say the flag represents all that is good about the United States, some use it to convey a political message, some say it stands for a tattered past. But, others fly it because, while they know the country it represents isn’t perfect, the flag is a beacon of hope — a symbol of the freedom and the opportunity to change what is wrong and make better what isn’t working.
Perhaps that hope is the reason that the giant flag flying above the canyon in Pleasant Grove draws so many people and so many fly the flag in their own yards. Venezuelan immigrant and Utah Valley resident Zulma Martinez de Lagrutta, summed up what many feel about the United States flag for an article a couple of years ago.
“As an immigrant, my own flag represents the love of a nation who is inside of my blood and the bravery of their people. Now here I cry, when I see my country devastated and where all the rights are violated,” she said. “I feel love for one nation who provides me the opportunity that I cannot have in my country — freedom.
“Now, after five years here, I can tell you that the United States flag represents for an immigrant the honor, the respect and the admiration for an organized society who fights for the rights of the majority and represents the freedom against the tyranny that exists in many countries,” she said.
“It also represents the respect for all of the military who protect weak countries and protect the security around the world,” Martinez de Lagrutta said. “We feel the love and respect of one society who preserves the tradition and honor of their founders.”
Yes, the flag has long been a symbol of hope for a better life for those coming to the United States. For others, it’s a reminder of what we should all be striving for — freedom, equality, unity and justice for everyone.
If you haven’t yet gone, hurry to Grove Creek Canyon and walk beneath the beautiful flag. It will fly there through July 11 and then again in September. What are you hoping for? This flag is a symbol of a country where you are not only allowed, but encouraged, to hope.