Thursday, September 13, 2007
On the Flag
My oldest friend (since 3 or 4 years old - yes dear friends for over 60 years) sent me a note recently on the American Flag. We grew up with, and still maintain, a reverence for our "tattered ensign". I responded with a picture of Our Flag unfurled from my apartment in Boston.
At the same time I was searching for how many different emotions have been stirred by its presence. One way is in the lines of lines of John Greenleaf Whittier:
"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,But spare your country's flag," she said.A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,Over the face of the leader came;The nobler nature within him stirredTo life at that woman's deed and word;"Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.
But that was written in 1864. At the time loyal Americans were in conflict with loyal Americans. Today we're in a conflict with forces far more alien, but, in spite of our strength, our delicate system is rife with inner plagues far worse than bullets or cannon.