(If you do, you remember the REAL America.)
Some people 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.
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. Remember?
What happened? I'm still the same old flag. Oh, I have a few more stars than when you were a child, and a lot more blood has been shed since those 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 anybody else with their hat off so he quickly put his back on. 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 Memorial Honor Rolls sometime. Look at the names of those who never came back in order to keep this Republic free. One nation, under God.
When you salute me, you are actually saluting them. 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. I'll salute you by waving back. And I'll know that you remembered.
Charles Evans Hughes
The flag is the symbol of our national unity, our national endeavor, our national aspiration. The flag tells of the struggle for independence, of union preserved, of liberty and union one and inseparable, of the sacrifices of brave men and women to whom the ideals and honor of this nation have been dearer than life.
It means America first; it means an undivided allegiance.
It means America united, strong and efficient, equal to her tasks.
It means that you cannot be saved by the valor and devotion of your ancestors, that to each generation comes its patriotic duty; and that upon your willingness to sacrifice and endure as those before you have sacrificed and endured rests the national hope.
It speaks of equal rights, of the inspiration of free institutions exemplified and vindicated, of liberty under law intelligently conceived and impartially administrated. There is not a thread in it but scorns self-indulgence, weakness, and rapacity.
It is eloquent of our community interests, outweighing all divergencies of opinion, and of our common destiny.
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been, or shall be, unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions and prayers, but she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator of her own."
"We free citizens of the Great Republic, feel an honest pride in her greatness, her strength, her just and gentle government, her wide liberties, her honored name, her stainless history, her unbesmirched flag, her hands clean from oppression of the weak and from malicious conquest, her hospitable door that stands open to the hunted and the persecuted of all nations; we are proud
of the judicious respect in which she is held by the monarchies that hem her in on every side, and proudest of all of that loft patriotism which we inherited from our fathers, which we have kept pure, and which won our liberties in the beginning and has preserved them unto this day. While patriotism endures the Republic is safe, her greatness is secure, and against them the powers of the earth can not prevail."