and Short Stories to Share on Flag Day
The Flag of Our Country
By Charles Sumner
There is the national flag. He must
be cold indeed who can look upon
its folds, rippling in the breeze, without pride of country.
If he be
in a foreign land, the flag is companionship and country
all its endearments. Its highest beauty is in what it symbolizes.
is because it represents all, that all gaze at it with
It is a piece of bunting lifted in
the air; but it speaks sublimely,
and every part has a voice. Its stripes of alternate red
proclaim the original union of thirteen states to maintain
Declaration of Independence. Its stars of white on a field
proclaim that union of states constituting our national
which receives a new star with every new state. The two
signify union past and present.
The very colors have a language which
was officially recognized by our
fathers. White is for purity, red for valor, blue for justice;
together, bunting, stripes, stars, and colors, blazing
in the sky,
make the flag of our country to be cherished by all our
hearts, to be
upheld by all our hands.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Charles Sumner (1811-1874), an American statesman and
orator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He became United States
senator in 1851. "The Flag of Our Country" is taken
from an address
delivered in 1867 at Cooper Institute in New York.
- Each paragraph in this selection has a separate
message. Does the first paragraph fit America only, or could
Englishman say the same thing about his national flag, and
of his? What then is the thing that any flag represents to
of the country to which he belongs?
- What facts peculiar
does the second paragraph give you?
- How many stripes has
- How many stars were in the first American flag? How
many are there
- What is meant by "union past and present"?
- "White is for
purity"--in what way does this express the ideals of
the founders of
- Do you know the rules for the raising
and lowering of
- Find the meaning of:
bunting; proclaim; original; maintain; constituting;
- Pronounce: symbolizes; sublimely; alternate;
Phrases for Study:
he must be cold, national constellation, all its endearments,
union, speaks sublimely, officially recognized, every part has
voice, blazing in the sky.