Thursday, 7 May 2009

American Flag History for Kids

American Flag History for Kids, unlikely as it seems, is a popular search term and it just screamed out for a poem to be written. The job befell me, though I don't claim to be a vexillologist. But first here's the first stanza of the US National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner (meaning star covered banner)

Oh, 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 thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Here's another little ditty, from where I know not

I love my flag, my country's flag
The red and white and blue.
It has broad stripes and fifty stars,
And stands for freedom, too.

Now here's me poem

The flag of the United States
Is red, white and blue
It has 13 stripes and 50 stars
But this wasn't always true

For its first year as a Nation
USA had no flag at all
Then it got one with 13 stars
Set out in a circle, like a ball

The first official national flag
According to the story
Was approved on June 14, 1777
And nicknamed “Old Glory”

The claim of Betsy Ross is that she
Made, with her own hands, the first flag
If that is true, and it seems to be
She was entitled to brag

In 1795, the number of stars and stripes
Was increased by two
Vermont and Kentucky joined the union
And wanted to be given their due

When more joined, the stars increased
But the stripes reduced back
To represent the 13 colonies
That gave Britain the sack

Two overseas states, Hawaii and Alaska
Were added from afars
So now the Stars and Stripes
Has a total of 50 stars

Jon Bratton 2009

Here's another..the lyrics to a song

Said Washington to Betsy Ross, "A flag our nation needs
To lead our valiant soldiers on to high and noble deeds
Now can you make one for us, to which she made reply,
"I am not certain if I can; At least I'll gladly try."

So she took some red for the blood they shed
Some white for purity,
Some stars so bright from the sky overhead
Some blue for loyalty,
And sewed them all together,
For loyal hearts and true,
And hand in hand as one we stand
For the red, the white and the blue.

Said Betsy Ross to Washington, "Your country's flag behold!"
And through his tear-dimmed eyes he saw the stars and stripes unfold.
Then to his breast he clasped it, and looked to heaven above.
"Oh may it ever stand," he cried, "For rights and truth and love."

Finally, here's a lovely piece
A Toast to the Flag" by John Jay Daly, c.1918

Here's to the red of it;
There's not a thread of it —
No nor a shred of it —
In all the spread of it,
From foot to head,
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it —
Precious blood shed for it,
Bathing it red.

Here's to the white of it;
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it
But has felt the might of it
Through day and night?
Womanhood's care for it
Made manhood dare for it;
Purity's prayer for it
Kept it so white

Here's to the blue of it,
Heavenly view of it,
Star spangled hue of it,
Honesty's due of it,
Constant and true;
Here's to the whole of it —
Stars, stripes and pole of it —
Here's to the soul of it,
Red white and blue.

If you want to know more, click the link
American Flag History for Kids

This 'American Flag History for Kids' blog page is copyright Jon Bratton 2009. The poem may be used for non commercial purposes

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