ROUNDING THIRD: If the flag could speak

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Flag Day is upon us and I’m sure it will bring out the protesters and those who try to separate symbols from reality. I have never cared for politics, but I do know that they are leading us far away from the ideals that built this great nation. The divisiveness is overwhelming, and it seems we must make scapegoats out of symbols. Both the flag and the National Anthem have incurred the wrath of those who seem to think they are what is wrong with America. That blame falls to people not to inanimate objects. The flag cannot speak for itself, so I have taken upon myself the audacity to speak for it. If it could speak, what must it be feeling?

The Flag Speaks

I’ve led your charge through many years and firmly help my ground.

I’ve fluttered over fallen men with Taps the only sound.

In times of peace, I’ve flown there to remind you where I’ve been,

And there are times I’m cursed and torn by harsh and angry men.

But through it all I’ve always kept my dignity intact,

And as the protest fire storms raged my composure never cracked.

I am a symbol of the land where patriots first stood,

And offered forth ideas of what is right and good.

There was no concrete promise that all who try, succeed.

There was no guarantee they gave that no one would feel need.

It was a simple premise that no one would deny

Another opportunity to hold his dreams on high.

The rest has always been on you to bring your dreams to be,

And yet, today, I face a land where many now blame me.

I never did betray your trust, I, and my song hold true.

Please do not blame me for a dream that man’s forsaken you.

I’ll always fly above you, your colors proudly bear,

In hope that you can compromise and find a way to share.

But please don’t fall upon the earth, your knee upon the sod.

I’m but a symbol of your hope: Kneel not, but to your God! JDF

History tidbits:

• Julia Ward Howe sold her song, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” to the Atlantic Monthly in 1862 for the princely sum of $5.

• Kites were used during the Civil war to deliver letters and newspapers.

• In 1912, Nebraska had a law that required motorists to stop every 150 yards, send up a skyrocket, wait for the road to clear and then proceed cautiously while blowing their horn and shooting up flares. (Would I kid you?)

• Rome, not New York City, was the first to have a population of 1 million citizens. Not us, of course, Rome, Italy in 133 BC.

Joke: A man wanted to order a special cake for his wife’s 50th birthday, so he called in his assistant and told her, “I want you to have them put, You’re not getting older (at the top) and You’re getting better (at the bottom).” She followed his directions exactly and when the cake arrived it said. “You’re not getting older at the top, you’re getting better at the bottom.” He’ll be out of the hospital soon.

Favorite One-Liners:

• Everybody wants the world to change, but nobody wants to change themselves.

• Some people are like buttons: they pop off at the wrong time.

Happy Flag Day! See Ya. JDF

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