Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

“Yesterday the President spoke a word that made happier the future of ten million peons in Mexico; but that act looms no larger on the flag than the struggle which the boy in Georgia is making to win the Corn Club prize this summer.

“Yesterday the Congress spoke a word which will open the door of Alaska; but a mother in Michigan worked from sunrise until far into the night, to give her boy an education. She, too, is making the flag.

“Yesterday we made a new law to prevent financial panics, and yesterday, maybe, a school teacher in Ohio taught his first letters to a boy who will one day write a song that will give cheer to the millions of our race. We are all making the flag.'

“But,” I said impatiently, “these people were only working!”

Then came a great shout from The Flag:

[ocr errors]

“The work that we do is the making of the flag.

“I am not the flag; not at all. I am nothing more than its shadow.

“I am whatever you make me, nothing more.

“I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a People may become.

“I live a changing life, a life of moods and passions, of heart breaks and tired muscles.

“Sometimes I am strong with pride, when workmen do an honest piece of work, fitting the rails together truly.

“Sometimes I droop, for then purpose has gone from me, and cynically I play the coward.

Sometimes I am loud, garish, and full of that ego that blasts judgment.

“But always, I am all that you hope to be, and have the courage to try for.

“I am song and fear, struggle and panic, and ennobling hope. "I am the day's work of the weakest man, and the

largest dream of the most daring. “I am the Constitution and the courts, statutes and the statute makers, soldier and dreadnaught, drayman and street sweep, cook, counselor, and clerk.

I am the battle of yesterday, and the mistake of tomorrow.

“I am the mystery of the men who do without knowing why.

I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution.

“I am no more than what you believe me to be, and I am all that you believe I can be.

“I am what you make me, nothing more.

“I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing which makes this nation. My stars and my stripes are your dream and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out

of your hearts. For you are the makers of the flag
and it is well that you glory in the making.
-From an Address Delivered on Flag Day, 1914, before

the Employees of the Department of the Interior,
Washington, D. C., by the Secretary of the Interior.

Questions for Study

1. What one fact was Secretary Lane trying to make clear through his address? Why does he have the flag make so many statements as to what it is?

2. In what ways are you making the flag? In what ways do you intend to make it?

3. Which is more inspiring to you, this address or Beecher's sermon ?

THE FLAG GOES BY

HENRY HOLCOMB BENNETT

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:

Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.

Hats off !
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and save the State:
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;

March of a strong land's swift increase; : Equal justice, right, and law,

Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor,--all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:

Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Questions for Study

1. What "more than the flag" does Bennett say is passing by! Can you add to the list ?

2. Why is it that although everyone can see military glory in a flag, it is only the more thoughtful and imaginative who can see in it the greater glories of civic life? 3. Who will bare the head least readily to the flag?

BATTLE-HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

JULIA WARD HOWE

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath

are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword:

His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling

camps; They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and

damps; I have read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps.

His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel : As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace

shall deal; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,

Since God is marching on."

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call

retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgmentseat:

« ElőzőTovább »