Artist's Lane

Our flag proudly waves


Every year our oldest daughter and her husband come from California for their vacation. And every year our son-in-law brings a new USA flag with him. 

This act of kindness is not random, but has been a tradition for 38 years. Our kids will soon arrive and a new flag will proudly wave in our front yard.

The old tattered one will come down. It bears the history of last year. The fierce winds of winter gnawed on the threads and chewed the fabric. Strings are dangling, colors have paled, but it still waves in victory.

Both the old, tattered flag and new one remind us we have the freedom to worship our God.

People on their knees have fought to keep us a godly nation — born out of men who laid their lives down to establish this nation. That’s who we are.

Some question the fabric of this country, but we were founded on Christian beliefs. America was named “A City on a Hill” by John Winthrop, a preacher and signer of the Declaration of Independence on Aug. 2, 1776.

Delegates to the Second Continental Congress signed the document. By putting their names on this paper, these men risked losing everything. The 56 men who signed the declaration, all except one identified themselves as Christians.

When people chant rebellious words against this nation and yell, “Death to America,” they are against God. They have forgotten Who fought for this nation and what He has done for us.

“A City on a Hill” was coined by Jesus: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, NKJV).

The words of evil men rob God of His glory and the men who have courage to fight for freedom keeps our nation shinning as a city on a hill.

Our country’s freedom goes hand in hand with our faith in God. God has given us favor. Have we forgotten God? Is our light burning out? Are we resolved to sit in darkness?

Was it not a couple of years ago during COVID, the words from 2 Chronicles 7:14 were on everyone’s lips: “If my people who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I’m counting on hearing from heaven and God fighting for us. Just like that old, faded flag, this country has seen worse and it will see better, but we stand proudly with it.

Final brushstroke: I look through our living room window at our nation’s flag and a smile comes across my heart. I love this country. I love the red, white and blue. In our country’s history, good men and courageous soldiers have fought to keep us free. Prayer warriors are called to fall to their knees and pray. I’m so thankful for them. Happy Fourth of July. See you at the parade.

Readers’ comments

Comment from one our locals:

“Hey there, Mrs. Slade! It’s your old buddy, Jace Johnson. I just read your article in this week’s paper and wanted to pass along a heartfelt thank you for keeping Pagosa, our little town. It’s the one thing that keeps my heart here…our memories of days and friends gone by. We are blessed to be the few who got to live life in our precious town as it was meant to be. The way so many of our elders made it.

“Now, time seems to slip by much faster without being able to catch up with all our long-time friends at the annual Catholic Church catfish fry over [Lent] at the parish hall. Nevertheless, I just wanted you to know how much you are adored AND cherished.”

I responded, “Bless [Karl] Isberg. He saw something in me, even though I didn’t see it in myself.

“God put favor in his heart for me. That was sixteen years ago and 690 articles later.” 

He responded, “Mrs. Slade, 690 articles—I’m sure Glen Edmonds and Dave Mitchell would be most proud of all of your time and efforts over the years. I worked for David Roddy at the radio station back in high school and remember well when [Karl] Isberg was hired to be a DJ. He was an ‘acquired taste’; at first, but over the years I became a fan. In fact, he wrote one of the funniest articles in the Sun I ever read 20 + years ago about being a boy during the 4th of July holidays...I never forgot it all these years later. I believe it’s your own ministry, to be honest, and there are a bunch of us in town who feel the same way...I just wish you could figure out how to pass an offering plate around ha ha ha!! 

“My Mom, Jr and my Dad are huge fans as well....even in heaven, this I know! Love to you and Al, Jace Johnson.”

Send your comment to I’d love to share them with the other folks in Pagosa.

Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.