The United Nations currently lists 193 member states — each with its own culture and each with a flag. Flags of all colors, designs and meanings to the people they represent.

And among them, of all those countries, the billions of people they represent, it’s safe to say there is no flag more universally known around the world than the red, white and blue of the United States of America.

Born on June 14, 1777, by a resolution of the Continental Congress, the Stars and Stripes has flown in 26 different iterations over the years as new states were added to the union. Within its red and white stripes and stars on a field of blue, the good, the bad, and yes at times ugly of our history.

Starting with the defiance during the Revolutionary War and later the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1812 and Andrew Jackson’s stand at New Orleans, it reminded a young nation of just how fragile its freedom was and the sacrifice required to keep it.

But it is not without its flaws. From the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the horror of the Trail of Tears to flying for more than eight decades of slavery before the last shot of the Civil War, to the civil rights battles a century later, our flag is also a reminder that for all our ideals and noble goals, we are in the end a nation of humans. Humans as flawed at times as any others.

Coming off the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy in World War II, it is also a reminder of the best of the best that this nation is capable of.

Yet, unlike the external threat of the 1940s, the threat facing that “grand old flag” today comes from within.

Taking advantage of younger generations that are no longer taught their nation’s history and an influx of millions of foreign born citizens who have no familial ties to the sacrifices of the past, leftist politicians are all too happy to instill in these minds that America is no longer the home of an individual’s right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but just another place on a map.

It’s a place no longer of “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” but rather a “your country owes you whether you work for it or not.”

In October of 2017, I penned these words:

America, for all practical purposes, is two countries under one flag.

On one side, the Founding Fathers, limited government and maximum liberty; on the other, a “living” Constitution, a “caring” government and rights allotted on an “as needed” basis by that same government.

The next generation of Americans will either be governed by facts and the rule of law, or feelings and the emotion of the day. One will win, and one will lose. The only thing we don’t know is how long the battle and which side the victor.

The past few months has only strengthened my belief in those words.

Starting in September when Democrats were smearing Brett Kavanaugh for party politics and carrying forth to this past week when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in a meeting with leading Democrats said regarding President Donald Trump: “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” the party of Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy is pushing us dangerously close to banana republic territory.

The very fabric of our republic, the rule of law, is being shredded right before our eyes. Today’s Democratic Party is so blinded by its partisan fury against Donald Trump that over two years post-election it is still unable to accept its loss.

So obsessed with denying him anything, Speaker Pelosi is refusing to bring up the USMCA trade agreement for a vote (a vote she knows will pass the legislation) and she won’t even acknowledge the very real and critical emergency at our southern border.

It’s one thing to argue over a “Green New Deal,” health care, tax rates and other domestic policy issues. It’s quite another to actively promote immigrants entering our country illegally over American citizens.

If the republic is to remain the beacon of freedom that the world has looked to for over two centuries, it must be secure in its borders and unwavering in its commitment to the rule of law and American sovereignty; cooperation yes; capitulation, never.

Which begs the question, just which flag is Nancy flying anyway, U.S. red, white and blue or U.N. blue and white? She claims to be a patriot, yet her actions show otherwise.

Ms. Pelosi has 17 months to show us which side she’s on. I for one will be watching.

Geoff Caldwell lives in Joplin. He can be reached at