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THE FLAG GOES BY.*
Hats off !
Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Days of plenty and days of peace;
Sign of a nation, great and strong,
* Reprinted by permission of Youth's Companion.
Hats off !
-Henry Holcomb Bennett.
Our flag carries American ideas, American history, and American feelings. Beginning with the colonies, and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea divine right of liberty in man.
· Henry Ward Beecher.
And for your country, boy, and for that flag, never dream but of serving her as she bids you. No matter what happens to you, no matter who flatters or abuses you, never look at another flag, never let a night pass but you pray God to less that flag. Remember, that behind all these men you have to do with, behind officers, and government, and people even, there is the Country Herself, your Country, and that you belong to Her as you belong to your own mother. Stand by her as you would stand by your own mother.
- Edward Everett Hale.* * From "The Man Without a Country." Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown & Co., Boston.
When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood ! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the Republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, not a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as “What is all this worth ?” nor those other words of delusion and folly, “Liberty first and Union afterwards”; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under Cre whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart -- Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.
Stand by the flag ! On land and ocean billow,
By it our fathers stood, unmoved and true; Living, defended ; dying, for their pillow, With their last blessing, passed it on to you.
Albert D. Shaw.