I Am the Flag 

I am the flag of the United States of America.

My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom. I am confident.
I am arrogant. I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted.
I am loved - I am revered.
I am respected - I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appamatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.
I was there. I led my troops.
I was dirty, battleworn and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries
I have helped set free. It does not hurt for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled in the streets of my country.
And when it's done by those whom I've served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of earth and
stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have born silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battle field,
when I am flown at halfmast to honor my soldier,
or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,

I am proud.
I am the flag of the United States of America.



Originally entitled, My Name is Old Glory by Howard Schnauber
© 1994 the author [Mr. Schnauber has given permission to the public to use this poem for program or publishing purposes. Please credit the Fort Collins Public Library Local History Archive, Oral History Interview of Mr. Howard Schnauber, the author.]