Colors have a profound impact on our lives. Even with the primary colors being red, yellow and blue, each of us openly will express our "druthers" of these three. And, amazingly, the selection says a lot about everyone, for we are drawn to colors for a reason.

As one reflects on the activities and lifestyles, it is most evident color jolts the brain cells. Recalling your favorite months of the year, think, for just a moment, what the mere mention of the words "gold and orange" bring to mind. Or the color green in the dead of winter. What about white at Easter?

Well, here we are, in the dead heat of summer. True green flourishes, but there are touches of so many colors. We are sometimes blinded to the realization that, were colors basically assigned to any one particular month, blue and red would find their true niche in the month of July. What is the reasoning behind this assumption?

The color blue is a confident color, non-threatening. It suggests dependability, wisdom, stability and confidence, as well as being a color of nature as seen in the blue hue in the sky and seas. From light shades of blue for serenity to bright electric shades expressing dynamic symbolism. Colors can be soothing, offering healing benefits as well. The medical field recognizes the ability of color and healing on a daily basis.

The color red in China denotes purity, signified by the wearing of red gowns at most weddings by the brides. Red, therefore typically has a way of conjuring up symbols representing love (valentines), sex and romance. A bold color with bold meanings. Blood, fire, war, heat, aggression, bravery, promoting emotions and most certainly demanding attention. Thank goodness this vivid hue has been downgraded so the person not seeking such attentions is able to enjoy a modified form of this aggressive, demanding color by selecting the colors of maroon or pink.

When we combine these two colors, only one thing pops in my mind -- our grand old flag. And the flag is a symbol of our nation, with its 13 stripes, alternating red and white and representing the original 13 colonies. Each of the 50 stars, white on a blue field, stands for one of the current 50 states. Betsy Ross is given special recognition for having made the first flag in 1776 at the urging of George Washington. Since that time, it is estimated 27 different "official" versions of the flag have been on display.

This symbol has withstood many trials through the years, including many wars, depressions, Prohibition, New Deal and women's movements.

And now, we are in the grips of a very controversial election year. Concerns for the future of our county, our children, and yes, even for each one of us lurks in the foreground with each passing day. We have grave concerns for the men and women who bravely defend the rights of Americans here and abroad as we are bombarded with words that say one thing while doing another. Like the colors in our lives, the hues of the revolving world change with the winds. But, our flag remains.

The flutter of one's heart as we turn into the cemetery on Memorial Day and see the avenue of flags, briskly flying triumphantly in the brisk Kansas winds, accompanied by the smaller flags placed on the graves of post and Auxiliary members is something that brings tears to my eyes.

The flags are placed there by members of the local VFW Post No. 6240, under the command of Post Commander James Bowman, the VFW Women's Auxiliary, with President Becky Partridge and her nearly 550 members working jointly with Post No. 99 of the American Legion, with Judy Laurie as commander, the Sons of American Legion and the American Legion Women's Auxillary, headed by Maxine Scheck.

The display is a true representation of the men and women of the community who have given much, and sometimes all, for this great country of ours.

The flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation -- one nation, under God, indivisible. It has a proud and glorious history. Many people have died protecting it. Now, it even stands proudly on the face of the moon.

Through those flying flags, not only on Memorial Day, but on Flag Day and Fourth of July celebrations, the flag reminds us of freedom. We are served with a notice of the sacrifices that have been made to preserve our freedoms. And it is not ended. We must continue to set good examples for our younger generations.

We can marry the mate of our choice; we are not sold into marriage. We have a choice of having one, two or however many children we feel we can afford; we are not limited to one child. We can attend the church of our choice without fear; we are not harassed or losing our lives because we choose to worship God in a public place. Yes, we can explore and enjoy at least four beautiful freedoms each and every day of our lives.-- freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, freedom from want.

As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation and our flag. Raise your flag today and every day with pride and as we do so, remind ourselves that we are living in a republic that enables us to live and work, love and play freely and with dignity.

Nadene Albrecht resides in Russell and is a retired real estate broker.