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Flags fly high in West Virginia in preparation for the 4th of July

Scott McCloskey / The Wheeling News Register & The Intelligencer

In this photo taken July 2, Ed Lawrence, a firefighter in Wheeling, W.V., helps hang a giant 40 foot long American Flag from two ladder trucks during an "Honor Our Troops" event as part of a 4th of July weekend celebration honoring the U.S. military troops. The event was sponsored by Boatsie's Boxes, a non-profit agency that supports the troops year round, and Cabela's.

As flags will be flying from coast to coast on the Fourth of July, read about what the stars and bars have come to mean for Americans in a post 9/11 world here. You can also check out how some Americans view the United States here.