Lines For A Flag Raising Ceremony

by Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest

FULL many a flag the breeze has kissed;
Through ages long the morning sun
Has risen over the early mist
The flags of men to look upon.
And some were red against the sky,
And some with colors true were gay,
And some in shame were born to die,
For Flags of hate must pass away.
Such symbols fall as men depart,
Brief is the reign of arrant might;
The vicious and the vile at heart
Give way in time before the right.
A flag is nothing in itself;
It but reflects the lives of men;
And they who lived and toiled for pelf
Went out as vipers in a den.
God cleans the sky from time to time
Of every tyrant flag that flies,
And every brazen badge of crime
Falls to the ground and swiftly dies.
Proud kings are mouldering in the dust;
Proud flags of ages past are gone;
Only the symbols of the just
Have lived and shall keep living on.
So long as we shall serve the truth,
So long as honor stamps us fair,
Each age shall pass unto its youth
Old Glory proudly flying there!
But if we fail our splendid past,
If we prove faithless, weak and base,
That age shall be our banner's last;
A fairer flag shall take its place.
This flag we fling unto the skies
Is but an emblem of our hearts,
And when our love of freedom dies,
Our banner with our race departs.
Full many a flag the breezes kiss,
Full many a flag the sun has known,
But none so bright and fair as this;
None quite so splendid as our own!
This tells the world that we are men
Who cling to manhood's ways and truth;
It is our soul's great voice and pen,
The strength of age, the guide of youth,
And it shall ever hold the sky
So long as we shall keep our trust;
But if our love of right shall die
Our Flag shall sink into the dust.

Last updated January 14, 2019