Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy USA Flag Day

USA flag day
U.S. flag flying in monsoon storm, summer 2017
HonorHealth John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital

“That piece of red, white and blue bunting means five thousand years of struggle upward. It is the full-blown flower of ages of fighting for liberty. It is the century plant of human hope in bloom.

Your flag stands for humanity, for an equal opportunity to all the sons of men. Of course, we haven’t arrived yet at that goal; there are many injustices yet among us, many senseless and cruel customs of the past still clinging to us, but the only hope of righting the wrongs of men lies in the feeling produced in our bosoms by the sight of that flag.

It stands for no race. It stands for men, men of any blood who will come and live with us under its protection. It is the only banner that means mankind.

Other flags mean a glorious past, this flag a glorious future. It is not so much the flag of our fathers as it is the flag of our children. It is the flag of tomorrow. It is not the flag of your king, it is the flag of yourself and of all your neighbors.

Its power and influence mean that in due time, slowly and by force of law, the last ancient fraud shall be smitten, the last unearned privilege removed, the last man shall have a place to work and a living wage, the last woman shall have all her rights of person and of citizenship.

Don’t be ashamed when your throat chokes and the tears come, as you see your flag flying. You will never have a worthier emotion.

That flag is the cream of all religions, the concentrated essence of the best impulses of the human race.

By hundreds and by thousands the wretched victims of old-world caste are streaming westward, seeking here the thing that the flag stands for — opportunity.

It waves defiance at all ghosts, they that have long intimidated men; the ghost of monarchy, the ghost of aristocracy, the ghost of war.

What better ensign than the flag of the United States of America, which has never stood for the narrowness of race nor the pride of blood, but always and only for human rights?”

—Frank Crane, circa 1915, excerpted