The Flag


 

Pledge of Allegiance

          As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton's teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of
          Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of
          this lecture. It is followed by an observation of his own.

          I - - Me; an individual; a committee of one.

          Pledge - - Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

          Allegiance - - My love and my devotion.

          To the Flag - - Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is
          respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, "Freedom is everybody's job."

          United - - That means that we have all come together.

          States - - Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight
          individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary
          boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.

          And to the Republic - - Republic--a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives
          chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it's from the people to the
          leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

          For which it stands

          One Nation - - One Nation--meaning, so blessed by God.

          Indivisible - - Incapable of being divided.

          With Liberty - - Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear,
          or some sort of retaliation.

          And Justice - - The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.

          For All - - For All--which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is  mine.
 

          "And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:"

          I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,
          and to the Republic, for which it stands;
          one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

          Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been
          added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a
          prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?"
          Red Skelton


 
 

I'll wave to all of you, as you leave

                                                                         when it's time for you to go.
                                                                   As you sail from sea to shining sea
                                                                       take the colors of your home.

                                                                  Take me with you, wherever you go
                                                                   keep me in your heart each night.
                                                            And if you forget what you're fighting for
                                                                             remember me, in flight.

                                                                    Take me out to the battleground,
                                                                       and then tear me into shreds.
                                                                  Wrap the bleeding wound with me,
                                                                           and bind the aching head.

                                                                    Plunge me into the coldest water
                                                                         to soothe the fevered brow.
                                                                    Tie me across the shattered limb,
                                                                                 I'll support it now.

                                                                       Let me dry the homesick tear,
                                                                   and hold closed, the gaping chest,
                                                              for here, in the field, where hope is lost
                                                                                    I am at my best.

                                                                    And then, burn what is left of me,
                                                                          for warmth into the night.
                                                          So I may bring comfort, where there is need
                                                                           and courage, for the fight.

                                                          My red is deeper, for the blood you've shed.
                                                                    My white is purer, for your pain.
                                                            My blue will be bluer than the deepest sea
                                                                        when you come home again.

                                                               Then I'll rise to the top of the flagpole,
                                                                   where my colors are always flown,
                                                                and from there, when the war is over
                                                                     I'll wave, to welcome you home.

                                                                                  ~Author unknown

ESPECIALLY FOR THE CHILDREN

   Hello! Remember Me?
 

          Some call me Old Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I
          am your Flag - the Flag of the United States of America. There has been something that has been
          bothering me, so I thought that I might talk it over with you here today.

          I remember some time ago, (I think it was Memorial Day, or was it Veterans' Day?) that people
          were lined up on both sides of the street for a parade. A high school band was behind me and,
          naturally, I was leading the parade. When your Daddy saw me coming along waving in the
          breeze, he immediately removed his hat and placed it so that his right hand was directly over
          his heart.

          And you - I remember you.

          Standing there as straight as a soldier, you didn't have any hat, but you were giving me the
          right salute. Remember, they taught you in school to place your right hand over your heart,
          and little sister, not to be outdone, was saluting the same as you. There were some soldiers
          home on leave and they were standing at attention giving the military salute. Oh, I was very
          proud as I came down your street that day.

          Now, I may sound as if I am a little conceited, Well I am!

          I have a right to be, because I represent you, the people of the United States of America.

          But what happened? I am still the same old flag. Oh, I have a couple more stars added since you
          were a boy. A lot more stars added since the beginning of this country, and and lot more blood
          shed since that patroitic day so long ago.

          Now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down your street, some people just stand
          there with their hands in their pockets and give me a small glance and then look away. I see
          children running around and shouting. They don't seem to know who I am.

          Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have some people forgotten what I  stand for? Have they
          forgotten all the battlefields where men have fought and died to keep this nation free? When
          you salute me you are actually saluting them!

          Take a look at the memorial rolls some time. Look at the names of those who never came back.
          Some of them were friends and relatives of yours. That's whom you are saluting, not me!

          Well, it won't be long until I'll be coming down your street again. So, when you see me, stand
          straight, place your hand over your heart and you'll see me waving back-- that's my salute to
          you. And then I will know you remember who I am...
          ~Author unknown

    Guidelines for displaying Old Glory

          Sunrise to sunset.

          At all times if it's illuminated during darkness.

          Should not be displayed during rain, snow and wind storms unless it is an all-weather flag.

          Should be displayed often, but especially on national and state holidays and special occasions.

          Should be displayed on or near the main building of public institutions, schools during school
          days, and polling places on election days.

          It should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously. When carried in procession with other
          flags, the U.S. flag should be either on the marching right (the flag's right) or to the front and
          center of the flag line.

          When displayed on a float in a parade, the flag should be hung from a staff or suspended so it
          falls free.

          It should not be draped over a vehicle.

          When displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, the U.S. flag should be on
          its own right (left to a person facing the wall) and its staff should be in front of the other flag's
          staff.

          In a group of flags displayed from staffs, the U.S. flag should be at the center and the highest
          point.

          When flags of states, cities or organizations are flown on the same staff, the U.S. flag must be at
          the top (except during church services conducted at sea by Navy chaplains).

          When other flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and
          lowered last.

          It must be on the right of other flags and no other flag should stand higher than it.

          Flags of other nations should be flown from separate staffs.

          International custom dictates that flags of different nations be displayed at the same height in
          peacetime and be approximately the same size.

          If the flag is suspended outdoors from a rope stretched from a building to a pole, the flag
          should be hoisted out from the building with the union first.

          When the flag is displayed other than from a staff, it should be flat or suspended so that it falls
          free.

          When displayed against something, such as a wall, the union should be at the top and to the
          flag's own right, the observer's left - whether displayed horizontally or vertically.

          When displayed over a street or sidewalk, where it can be seen from either side, be sure the
          union is to the north on an east-west street, and to the east on a north-south street.

          The same directions apply in a building lobby or corridor with entrances to the east and west or
          north and south.

          When displayed flat against the wall on a speaker's platform, the flag should be above and
          behind the speaker with the union on the left side as the audience looks at it (again, the flag's
          right).

          When the flag hangs from a staff in a church or public place, it should appear to the audience
          on the left, the speaker's right.

          Any other flags displayed should be placed on the opposite side of the speaker.

          The flag may cover a casket, but should not cover a statue or monument for unveiling.

          On a casket, the union (blue field) should be at the deceased person's head and heart, over the
          left shoulder. But the flag should be removed before the casket is lowered into the grave and
          should never touch the ground.

          It should never be draped or drawn back in folds.

          Draped red, white and blue bunting should be used for decoration, with the blue at the top and
          red at the bottom.

          The flag may be flown at half-staff to honor a newly deceased federal or state government
          official by order of the president or the governor, respectively.

          On Memorial Day, the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon.

          Whenever the flag is displayed at half-staff, it should be first raised to the top.

          Lowering from half-staff is preceded by first raising it momentarily to the top.
 
 
 


 

                                                                                  Ragged Old Flag

                                                        I walked through a county courthouse square,
                                                        On a park bench an old man was sitting there.

                                                      I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
                                                             He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."

                                                    And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.
                                                                He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
                                                  "Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"

                                                      I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
                                                       But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

                                                         "You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
                                                        When Washington took it across the Delaware.

                                                 And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
                                                        Sat watching it writing _Oh Say Can You See_.

                                                                  And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
                                                   With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams."

                                                                      "And it almost fell at the Alamo
                                                      Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.

                                                          She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
                                                                  And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.

                                                       There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
                                               And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag."

                                                                    "On Flanders Field in World War I
                                                                 She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.

                                                                She turned blood red in World War II
                                                    She hung limp and low by the time it was through.

                                                                      She was in Korea and Vietnam.
                                                      She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam."

                                                     "She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
                                             And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.

                                                            In her own good land she's been abused --
                                                  She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused."

                                                           "And the government for which she stands
                                                                  Is scandalized throughout the land.

                                                        And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
                                                         But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.

                                                             'Cause she's been through the fire before
                                                          And I believe she can take a whole lot more."

                                         "So we raise her up every morning, Take her down every night.
                                            We don't let her touch the ground And we fold her up right.

                                                                 On second thought I DO like to brag,
                                                     'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

                                                                                 ~ Johnny Cash