As I have written, the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Fourth of July is not America’s birthday. That being said, July 4 is, nonetheless, a day worthy of celebration. After all, it was on July 4, 1776 that the United States became, in the world of Lincoln, a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
For more than two hundred years Americans have been celebrating the anniversary of our independence on the wrong day.
Two years ago nine African American worshipers were killed in a racially motivated terrorist attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In the wake of the attack journalists discovered that the perpetrator had been regularly photographed with Confederate flags. Since that time a growing number of people have called, often successfully, for the removal of Confederate flags and symbols from public places.
The United States of America joined the family of nations on July 2nd, 1776, when the Continental Congress voted to approve a “Resolution of Independence” introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, which stated: “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right out to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”