Today the U.S. women’s national soccer team won the 2019 World Cup – through strength, determination, grit, honesty, love of team and pride in country.

Being born in the Netherlands, I was asked by many people who I would be rooting for, and for a short while the horizontal red, white and blue of the country of my birth won out over the Stars and Stripes. But for the most part I reveled in seeing the two countries I love being represented by strong woman athletes who put on a performance that will propel them even further on the world stage of voetbal/football/soccer. And hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, their financial rewards will equal that of their male counterparts.

But what struck me even more is that for the first time in a long while, I was able to enjoy the true meaning of our flag again, far away from the abuse of angry politics. Seeing several of the players cloaked in symbolism during the closing ceremonies, we could all share a joyous and astounding victory, not only for our country but for women and girls worldwide.

So, no, I am not sad the Netherlands lost. The women in their orange uniforms also proudly represented their country. They too played an amazing game, and four years from now they will be stronger and better. They as well have made history. But today I am proud of my U.S. flag and was happy to be reminded of what it stands for, without political contamination.

Ineke Schair


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