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Flag Day Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The American Flag by William Parsons Lunt
  2. Freedom's Standard by Anonymous
  3. The Flower of Liberty by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  4. The Flag that Makes Men Free by Kate Brownlee Sherwood
  5. A Song For Flag Day by Wilbur D. Nesbit
  6. Betsy's Battle Flag by Minna Irving
  7. Old Glory by Amos Russel Wells
  8. The Flag Goes By by Henry Holcomb Bennett
  9. The Stars and Stripes Are Good Enough by Frederick W. Emerson
  10. Our Flag by Frederick W. Emerson
  11. The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
  12. The American Flag by Joseph Rodman Drake
  13. Old Glory by Raymond Garfield Dandridge
  14. Old Flag Forever by Frank L. Stanton
  15. Our Flag by Margaret E. Sangster
  16. The Service Flag by William Herschell
  17. God Save the Flag by Oliver Wenell Holmes

  1. The American Flag

    by William Parsons Lunt

    Flag of my country! in thy folds
    Are wrapped the treasures of the heart;
    Where'er that waving sheet is fanned
    By breezes of the sea or land,
    It bids the life blood start.

    It is not that among those stars
    The fiery crest of Mars shines out;
    It is not that on battle-plain;
    'Mid heaps of harnessed warriors slain,
    It flaps triumphant o'er the rout.

    Short-lived the joy that conquest yields;
    Flushed victory is bathed in tears;
    The burden of that bloody fame
    Which shouting myriads proclaim
    Sounds sad to widowed ears.

    Thou hast a deeper, stronger hold,
    Flag of my country! on the heart,
    Than when o'er mustered hosts unfurled,
    Thou art a signal to the world,
    At which the nations start.

    Thou art a symbol of the power
    Whose sheltering wings our homes surround;
    Guarded by thee was childhood's morn,
    And where thy cheering folds are borne,
    Order and Peace are found.

    Flag of our mighty Union, hail!
    Blessings abound where thou dost float;
    Best robe for living Freedom's form,
    Fit pall to spread upon her tomb,
    Should Heaven to death devote.

    Wave over us in glory still,
    And be our guardian as now!
    Each wind of heaven salute thy streaks!
    And withered be the arm that seeks
    To bring that banner low!

  2. Freedom's Standard

    by Anonymous. From Stafford's Patriotic Recitations

    God bless our star gemmed banner;
    Shake its folds out to the breeze;
    From church from fort from housetop,
    Over the city on the seas;

    The die is cast the storm at last
    Has broken in its might;
    Unfurl the starry banner,
    And may God defend the right.

    Then bless our banner God of hosts!
    Watch o'er each starry fold;
    Tis freedom's standard tried and proved
    On many a field of old;

    And Thou who long has blessed us,
    Now bless us yet again,
    And crown our cause with victory,
    And keep our flag from stain.

  3. The Flower of Liberty

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes

    What flow'r is this that greets the morn,
    Its hues from heav'n so freshly born?
    With burning star and flaming band
    It kindles all the sunset land:
    O tell us what its name may be,
    Is this the Flower of Liberty?
    It is, it is the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower, the Flower of Liberty!

    In savage Nature's far abode,
    Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
    The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,
    Its op'ning leaves were streaked with blood,
    Till lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
    The full-blown Flower of Liberty!
    Then hail, then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower, the flower of Liberty!

    Behold its streaming rays unite,
    One mingling flood of braided light,—
    The red that fires the Southern rose,
    With spotless white from Northern snows,
    And, spangled o'er its azure, see
    The sister Stars of Liberty!
    Then hail, then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower, the Flower of Liberty!

    The blades of heroes fence it round,
    Where'er it springs is holy ground;
    From tower and dome its glories spread;
    It waves where lonely sentries tread;
    It makes the land as ocean free,
    And plants an empire on the sea!
    Then hail, then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower, the Flower of Liberty!

    Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
    Shall ever float on dome and tower,
    To all their heav'nly colors true,
    In black'ning frost or crimson dew,—
    And God love us as we love thee,
    Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!
    Then hail, then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower, the Flower of Liberty!

  4. The Flag that Makes Men Free

    by Kate Brownlee Sherwood

    The battle clouds obscured the land and dimmed the nether seas,
    The dread alarms of war wailed out on every swelling breeze;
    The land the fathers wrestled for in hunger, cold and thirst,
    Lay bound and bleeding in the toils of tyranny accursed.
    They sought for sign or symbol, but to rescue there was none,
    When lo, across the darkness flashed the flag of Washington;
    The bonny flag, the beauteous flag, the flag of colors three,
    Your flag, my flag, the people's flag,
    The flag that makes men free.

    And red for human brotherhood; no matter creed or clan,
    The same rich blood proclaims us one in God's eternal plan;
    And white for peace and purity and heaven on earth begun,
    And blue the expanding canopy, the clustered stars in one;
    They kissed its folds and through the years of storm and stress they came,
    The ragged Continentals crowned with earth-compelling fame;
    Their star-bespangled banner streaming over land and sea,
    Your flag, my flag, the people's flag,
    The flag that makes men free.

    And lo, the scene was shifted and while the people slept,
    Through marts of trade and traffic the toes of freedom crept;
    For pride and power they wrestled, for lust of greed and gain,
    They forged the human shackles and might resumed her reign;
    As jeer and sneer run riot where dread and discord reel,
    The rights of man lay trampled beneath the tyrants' heel;
    They fired the torch of treason and mocked with anarchy
    Your flag, my flag, the people's flag,
    The flag that makes men free.

    Then shop and school and farm and mine and factory outpour,
    And thrice a hundred thousand men are marshalled at the fore;
    And thrice a hundred thousand men with purpose staunch and true
    On storied height, on gory plain, to die for me and you;
    To consecrate our flag anew to truth's unending fame,
    Equality, fraternity, in thunder tones proclaim;
    To fly from fort and citadel for aye, exultantly,
    Your flag, my flag, the people's flag,
    The flag that makes men free.

    What word, O fallen heroes, within the portals low,
    Where underneath the southern cross the sweet magnolias blow?
    Guard well that flag! lest while you sleep, the foe should haul it down,
    While weeping fills our peaceful land and cannons flame and frown!
    Guard well that flag! lest greed and graft should splash those stars of light,
    And followed by the orphan's moan fair freedom takes her flight!
    Guard well that flag! for faith and hope and better days to be,
    Your flag, my flag, the people's flag,
    The flag that makes men free!

  5. A Song For Flag Day

    by Wilbur D. Nesbit. From N.Y. (state) Education Dept.

    Your Flag and my Flag!
    And how it flies today
    In your land and my land
    And half a world away!
    Rose-red and blood-red
    The stripes forever gleam
    Snow-white and soul-white
    The good forefather's dream
    Sky-blue and true-blue with stars to gleam aright—
    The glorious guidon of the day; a shelter through the night.

    Your Flag, and my Flag!
    And oh how much it holds—
    Your land and my land—
    Secure within its folds!
    Your heart and my heart
    Beat quicker at the sight;
    Sun-kissed and wind-tossed,
    Red and blue and white.
    The one Flag—the great Flag—the Flag for me and you—
    Glorified all else beside—the red and white and blue!

    Your Flag and my Flag!
    To every star and stripe
    The drums beat as heart beat
    And lifers shrilly pipe!
    Your Flag and my Flag—
    A blessing in the sky;
    Your hope and my hope—
    It never hid a lie!
    Home land and far land and half the world around,
    Old Glory hears our glad salute and ripples to the sound!

  6. Betsy's Battle Flag

    by Minna Irving

    From dusk till dawn the livelong night
    She kept the tallow dips alight,
    And fast her nimble fingers flew
    To sew the stars upon the blue.
    With weary eyes and aching head
    She stitched the stripes of white and red,
    And when the day came up the stair
    Complete across a carven chair
    Hung Betsy’s battle flag.
    ...

    Like shadows in the evening gray
    The Continentals filed away,
    With broken boots and ragged coats,
    But hoarse defiance in their throats;
    They bore the marks of want and cold,
    And some were lame and some were old,
    And some with wounds untended bled,
    But floating bravely overhead
    Was Betsy’s battle flag.

    When fell the battle’s leaden rain,
    The soldier hushed his moans of pain
    And raised his dying head to see
    King George’s troopers turn and flee.
    Their charging column reeled and broke,
    And vanished in the rolling smoke,
    Before the glory of the stars,
    The snowy stripes, and scarlet bars
    Of Betsy’s battle flag.

    The simple stone of Betsy Ross
    Is covered now with mold and moss,
    But still her deathless banner flies,
    And keeps the color of the skies.
    A nation thrills, a nation bleeds,
    A nation follows where it leads,
    And every man is proud to yield
    His life upon a crimson field
    For Betsy’s battle flag!

  7. Old Glory

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Sing for Old Glory a Jubilant song,
    Lift up Old Glory and bear it along,
    Carry Old Glory with bravery strong,
    Live and die for Old Glory.

    Fair is Old Glory on land and on sea;
    Free is Old Glory, exultantly free;
    Glad is Old Glory forever to be;
    Live and die for Old Glory.

    Now for Old Glory a desperate fray;
    Now is Old Glory's pre-eminent day;
    Now for Old Glory to battle and pray,
    Live and die for Old Glory.

    Never in vain is Old Glory unfurled;
    Deep in the conflict Old Glory is hurled;
    Fight for Old Glory and fight for the world,
    Live and die for Old Glory.

  8. The Flag Goes By

    by Henry Holcomb Bennett

    Hats off!
    Along the street there comes
    A blare of bugles,
    a ruffle of drums,
    A flash of colour beneath the sky:
    Hats off!
    The flag is passing by!

    Blue and crimson and white it shines
    Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
    Hats off!
    The colours before us fly;
    But more than the flag is passing by.

    Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
    Fought to make and to save the State:
    Weary marches and sinking ships;
    Cheers of victory on dying lips;

    Days of plenty and years of peace;
    March of a strong land's swift increase;
    Equal justice, right, and law,
    Stately honour and reverend awe;

    Sign of a nation, great and strong
    Toward her people from foreign wrong:
    Pride and glory and honour,—all
    Live in the colours to stand or fall.

    Hats off!
    Along the street there comes
    A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
    And loyal hearts are beating high:
    Hats off!
    The flag is passing by!

  9. The Stars and Stripes Are Good Enough

    by Frederick W. Emerson. Tune —"Auld Lang Syne."

    "The Stars and Stripes are good enough"
    To float in every town;
    All emblems of a foreign kind
    Should everywhere come down.
    Our fathers fought beneath its folds,
    And faithful brothers died;
    Fond husbands were among the brave,
    And sons, their mother's pride.

    "The Stars and Stripes are good enough"
    For these United States;
    And not another flag must come
    Within its peaceful gates.
    Our emblem honored with the blood
    Of noble, men so true,
    Must everywhere be honored still,
    No other flag will do.

    "The Stars and Stripes are good enough,"
    Let love fill every breast;
    It brought us victory in war,
    In times of peace gives rest.
    The Liberty which we enjoy,
    Wherever we may roam,
    Is found beneath the Stars and Stripes
    In every place called home.

    "The Stars and Stripes are good enough,"
    Our only flag it is;
    And aliens from the foreign lands
    Must all remember this.
    It cost us much to hold aloft
    Our emblem rich and fair,
    Whate'er the cost in future days,
    We'll try and keep it there.

  10. Our Flag

    by Frederick W. Emerson. Tune: "Americah, or Italian Hymn"

    Flag of our nation great,
    Waving in every State,
    We love, adore;
    Emblem of purity,
    Emblem of unity,
    Emblem of liberty,
    From shore to shore.

    Stars, stripes and colors three,
    Blending in harmony,
    For thee we stand;
    No foe will ever rend
    The flag which we defend,
    Unto the bitter end
    With heart and hand.

    Our flag will never fail
    Freedom to those who hail
    From foreign shore;
    In freedom's sacred voice,
    Let every one rejoice,
    Who make our flag their choice
    For evermore.

    Wave still in lofty air,
    O, wave thou everywhere,
    On land and sea;
    Aloft on pole and spire,
    Pride of each son and sire,
    Keep all our hearts on fire,
    Flag of the free.

  11. The Star Spangled Banner

    Francis Scott Key beholding the American flag still raised after the bombardment of Fort McHenry in
    By Dawn's Early Light by Edward Moran
    Composed in 1814 by Francis Scott Key

    O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
    Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave




  12. The American Flag

    Joseph Rodman Drake.

    When Freedom, from her mountain height,
    Unfurled her standard to the air,
    She tore the azure robe of night,
    And set the stars of glory there:
    She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
    The milky baldric of the skies,
    And striped its pure, celestial white
    With streakings of the morning light;
    Then, from his mansion in the sun,
    She called her eagle bearer down,
    And gave into his mighty hand
    The symbol of her chosen land.

    Majestic monarch of the cloud!
    Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
    To hear the tempest trumpings loud,
    And see the lightning lances driven,
    When strive the warriors of the storm,
    And rolls the thunder drum of heaven;—
    Child of the sun! to thee 't is given
    To guard the banner of the free,
    To hover in the sulphur smoke,
    To ward away the battle stroke,
    And bid its blendings shine afar,
    Like rainbows on the cloud of war,
    The harbingers of victory!

    Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
    The sign of hope and triumph high!
    When speaks the signal trumpet tone,
    And the long line comes gleaming on,
    Ere yet the lifeblood, warm and wet,
    Has dimmed the glistening bayonet,
    Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
    To where thy sky-born glories burn,
    And, as his springing steps advance,
    Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
    And when the cannon mouthings loud
    Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud,
    And gory sabers rise and fall,
    Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall,
    Then shall thy meteor glances glow,
    And cowering foes shall sink beneath
    Each gallant arm, that strikes below
    That lovely messenger of death.

    Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
    Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
    When death careering on the gale,
    Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
    And frighted waves rush wildly back,
    Before the broadside's reeling rack,
    Each dying wanderer of the sea
    Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
    And smile to see thy splendors fly
    In triumph o'er his closing eye.

    Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
    By angel hands to valor given,
    Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
    And all thy hues were born in heaven.
    Forever float that standard sheet!
    Where breathes the foe but falls before us,
    With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
    And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?

  13. Old Glory

    by Raymond Garfield Dandridge

    God's placid heavens mother you,
    His sunsets blend your bars,
    His endless fields of midnight blue
    Serve background for your stars.

    So near immortal Emblem grand,
    Cradled in the sky,
    As long as earth and heavens stand,
    You will not—shall not die!

  14. Old Flag Forever

    by Frank L. Stanton

    She's up there—Old Glory—where lightnings are sped;
    She dazzles the nations with ripples of red;
    And she'll wave for us living, or droop o'er us dead,—
    The flag of our country forever!

    She's up there—Old Glory—how bright the stars stream!
    And the stripes like red signals of liberty gleam!
    And we dare for her, living, or dream the last dream,
    'Neath the flag of our country forever!

    She's up there—Old Glory—no tyrant-dealt scars,
    No blur on her brightness, no stain on her stars!
    The brave blood of heroes hath crimsoned her bars.
    She's the flag of our country forever!

  15. Our Flag

    by Margaret E. Sangster

    Fling it from mast and steeple,
    Symbol o'er land and sea
    Of the life of a happy people,
    Gallant and strong and free.
    Proudly we view its colors,
    Flag of the brave and true,
    With the clustered stars and the steadfast bars,
    The red, the white, and the blue.

    Flag of the fearless-hearted,
    Flag of the broken chain,
    Flag in a day-dawn started,
    Never to pale or wane.
    Dearly we prize its colors,
    With the heaven light breaking through,
    The clustered stars and the steadfast bars,
    The red, the white, and the blue.

    Flag of the sturdy fathers,
    Flag of the loyal sons,
    Beneath its folds it gathers
    Earth's best and noblest ones.
    Boldly we wave its colors,
    Our veins are thrilled anew
    By the steadfast bars, the clustered stars,
    The red, the white, and the blue.

  16. The Service Flag

    by William Herschell

    Dear little flag in the window there,
    Hung with a tear and a woman's prayer,
    Child of Old Glory, born with a star—
    Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!

    Blue is your star in its field of white,
    Dipped in the red that was born of fight;
    Born of the blood that our forebears shed
    To raise your mother, The Flag, o'er-head.

    And now you've come, in this frenzied day,
    To speak from a window—to speak and say:
    "I am the voice of a soldier son,
    Gone, to be gone till the victory's won.

    "I am the flag of The Service, sir:
    The flag of his mother—I speak for her
    Who stands by my window and waits and fears,
    But hides from the others her unwept tears.

    "I am the flag of the wives who wait
    For the safe return of a martial mate—
    A mate gone forth where the war god thrives,
    To save from sacrifice other men's wives.

    "I am the flag of the sweethearts true;
    The often unthought of—the sisters, too.
    I am the flag of a mother's son,
    Who won't come home till the victory's won!"

    Dear little flag in the window there,
    Hung with a tear and a woman's prayer,
    Child of Old Glory, born with a star—
    Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!

  17. God Save the Flag

    by Oliver Wenell Holmes

    Washed in the blood of the brave and the blooming,
    Snatched from the altars of insolent foes,
    Burning with star-fires, but never consuming,
    Flash its broad ribbons of lily and rose.

    Vainly the prophets of Baal would rend it,
    Vainly his worshippers pray for its fall;
    Thousands have died for it, millions defend it,
    Emblem of justice and mercy to all;

    Justice that reddens the sky with her terrors,
    Mercy that comes with her white-handed train,
    Soothing all passions, redeeming all errors,
    Sheathing the sabre and breaking the chain.

    Borne on the deluge of all usurpations,
    Drifted our Ark o'er the desolate seas,
    Bearing the rainbow of hope to the nations,
    Torn from the storm-cloud and flung to the breeze!

    God bless the Flag and its loyal defenders,
    While its broad folds o'er the battle-field wave,
    Till the dim star-wreath rekindle its splendors,
    Washed from its stains in the blood of the brave!

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