In a time of tension over how our nation should feel about
our Flag we feel the comments by R.W. Bro J D Krell are
especially appropriate! R. W. Bro. Krell is a member of
Oxford Lodge #165, Versailles, Connecticut
He is also D.D.G.M. of district 8-A in Connecticut. Bro Krell
retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of Captain.
My Friends, today we gather as patriots, to
remember, each in his own way, the memories of
comrades, of loved ones, perhaps of battles, but
most of all, of the Flag we love.
Since the days of chivalry men have been led into
battle by their Flag, and if, during the turmoil of
battle the bearer of the Flag was slain and fell, the
one nearest took up the colors and carried them for-
ward. Many a faint heart has been strengthened,
many a shaky hand steadied, many a trembling
resolve restored by the sight of those brave and
bright colors floating ahead. In the moment of im-
minent disaster, the Flag became the rallying point
for the new charge that won the day.
President Wilson once said, "This Flag which we
honor, and under which we serve, is the emblem of
our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as
a nation. It floats in majestic silence above the peo-
ple; and yet, though silent, it speaks to us--it
speaks to us of the past and of the men and women
who went before us, and the record they wrote upon
Yes, and it speaks to US of the present, and what
we do here today, and of the future, and of things
yet to be written. It challenges us to seek even nobler
goals and higher ideals. It leads us into the future
as securely and as bravely as ever it led us into battle.
lift up your eyes, see its inspiring folds, and follow
our Flag into a glorious future.
Let the Flag speak for itself: "I am the Flag of
the United States of America. I was conceived in
the dreams of Liberty and in the hopes of Freedom.
I was designed by the hands of Betsy Ross, and her
sewing basket was my cradle. I was adopted by the
Continental Congress in 1777, and proclaimed the
National Emblem of a Nation newly born on this
continent, fighting valiantly for survival, and
destined to bring forth to all mankind a new con-
cept of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,
which would become a shining example to the rest
of the world.
"I have been many places and have seen many
things. I have witnessed every event of American
history. I saw the signal that started the midnight
ride of Paul Revere, I was there when they fired the
shot heard around the world, and I mourned as the
first patriots fell in my cause. I was there in the late
twilight, at Fort McHenry, and inspired Francis
Scott Key to write the immortal 'Star Spangled Ban-
ner,' now our national anthem.
"I saw Molly Pitcher take the cannon swab from
the hands of her dead husband and help carry on
the fight for Freedom. I felt the biting cold at Valley
Forge, and gave warmth and comfort to General
Washington and his tired and hungry Continental
Army. I rode with Ethan Allen and the Green
Mountain Boys, and I witnessed the victory at
"I was flown above the decks of "Old Ironsides,"
and from the masts of the "Yankee" and the
"China Clippers." I blazed the trail with Daniel
Boone and Davey Crockett. I led the settlers com-
ing west, and I crossed Death Valley in a covered
wagon. I was at Bull Run, Antietam, Chickamauga,
Gettysburg and Appomatox. I was carried through
the Halls of Montezuma and to the shores of Tripoli
by the United States Marines. Once I fell to the
ground at Custer's Last Stand, and there were no
living hands left to pick me up. I galloped up the
slopes of San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt and
his Roughriders. I stayed with the boys until it was
"Over, over there," and was with them on the battle-
fields of the Marne, Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel and
the Argonne Forest. I was raised by five brave men
during the "hell" of Iwo Jima. I waved farewell to
~he l;our Immortal Chaplains who went down with
their ship and to honored glory, still tending to the
needs of those around them. I was at Inchon,
Porkchop Hill and the Yalu River, I saw the Tet
Offensive and I rode the waters of the Mekong. I
saw many of the youths and manhood of our
Nation fall. They had given their last full measure
of devotion. The war was over for them forever. But
I kept my lonely vigil over their graves and stayed
to watch the Poppies Grow Amid the Crosses, Row
on Row, that marked their places: in Flanders Field,
in Normandy, in the sands of the deserts of Africa,
in the jungles of the Islands of the Pacific, in the
stark hills of Korea and the choking jungles of Asia,
and yes, even the unmarked graves under the restless
oceans of the world.
"I am many things to many people. I am an
inseparable link in the chain that binds men to God
and Country: each link welded in the fires of Puri-
ty by the Sacred Hands of God Himself. And
because I am on the side of God, the godless would
destroy me, but they dare not, because I am pro-
tected by the might of the Nation, watching and
waiting to crush anything that could harm me.
"To some, I am yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I have several names. I am called the "Red, White
and Blue," "The Star Spangled Banner," "The Stars
and Stripes, but I am most commonly known by
a nickname given me by an old Sea Captain, who
called me "Old Glory."
"I have not changed much in my more than two
hundred years. I still have my original Thirteen
Stripes, but as each State came into the Union, a
new Star was proudly added to the Constellation
of my Blue Field. It started with thirteen stars, and
now there are fifty.
"Many more things I would like to tell you, but
there is not time. But I do want to see you again.
I'm easy to find. I am everywhere. I am with all
Americans, everywhere, regardless of their race
creed or religion. I am in the homes of the poor,
in the mansions of the rich. I am in Independence
Hall, I am with the Declaration of Independence
and with the Liberty Bell. I am in the White House
with the President, in all the Churches, Cathedrals
and Synagogues; in the councils of Boy and Girl
Scouts of America, and in all the Schools of the
"I drape the caskets of our nations heroes, borne
to their last resting place; the caskets of Presidents,
Generals, Admirals, humble Privates and Seamen
and the Unknown Soldiers. Wherever Free Men
gather, wherever there is Justice, Equality, Faith,
Hope, Charity, Truth or Brotherly love, there too,
am 1. There I will always be, for I am the "Stars
and Stripes Forever."
"I AM OLD GLORY"
(Let the Flag speak for itself adapted from
"Building the Flag" by the National Sojourners
THAT RAGGED OLD FLAG
I walked through a County Court House square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old Court House is kinda run down."
He said, "No, it will do for our little town."
I said, "Your old flag pole is leaning a little bit.
And that's a ragged old Flag you've got hanging
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."
"Well," 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 burns, the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it, writing 'Oh, Say Can You See.'
And, it got a bad rip at New Orleans
When Packingham and Jackson took it on the scene.
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,
The south wind blew hard on that ragged old Flag.
On Flander's Field in World War One
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War Two,
And she hung limp and low a time or two.
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,
Now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In our good land here she's been abused;
She's been burned, dishonored, denied, refused.
And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
She's getting threadbare and she's wearing thin,
But, she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
Because she's been through the fire before,
I believe she can take a whole lot more.
So we raise her up every morning, and we 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
Because I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."
(From the May-June 1989 issue of "The Sojourner.")
TRIBUTE TO THE AMERICAN FLAG
(Presented by Miss Nichole Sivigny at the 187th
Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota,
March 30, 1990)
Some people call me Old Glory, others call me
the Star Spangled Banner. But what ever they call
me, I am your Flag. The Flag of the United States
Something has been bothering me, so I thought
I might talk it over with you.
I remember some time ago, people lined up on
both sides of the street to watch the parade, and
naturally I was always there, proudly waving in the
breeze. When your daddy saw me coming, he
immediately removed his hat and placed it over his
heart, remember? And you, I remember you standing
there, straight as a soldier. You didn't have a
hat but you were giving the right salute. Remember
your little sister, not to be outdone, she was saluting
the same as you, with her hand over her heart,
What happened? I'm still the same old Flag. Oh,
a few more stars have been added since you were
a boy, and a lot more blood has been shed since
the parades of long ago. But I don't feel as proud
as I used to. When I come down your street you
just stand there with your hands in your pockets.
I may get a small glance, but then you look away.
I see the children running around and shouting.
They don't seem to know who I am. I saw one man
take off his hat and look around. He didn't see
anyone else with his hat off, so he quickly put it
Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you
forgotten what I stand for and where I've been?
Anzio, Normandy, Omaha Beach, Guadalcanal,
Korea and Vietnam. Take a look at the names on
the Memorial Honor Roll sometime. Look at the
names of those who never came back in order to
keep this Republic free. One Nation Under God.
When you were saluting me you were actually
Well, it won't be long until I'll be coming down
your street again, so when you see me, stand
straight, place your right hand over your heart. I'll
salute you by waving back, and I'll know that you
(This tribute was also published in the May-June 1989 issue of "The Sojourner."