Yesterday, a new law was passed and maybe, a teacher in Illinois taught the first letters to a girl who will one day write a song that will give cheer to the millions of our country. We are all making the Flag.
Flag, speaking strongly:
The work that we do is the making of the Flag. I am not the Flag at all. I am but its shadow.
I am whatever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become. I live a changing life, a life of moods and passions, of heartbreaks and tired muscles.
Sometimes I am strong with pride when men and women do an honest work. Sometimes I droop, for then purpose has gone out of me, and cynically I play the coward. Sometimes, I am loud, garish and full of that ego that blasts judgment. But always, I am all that you hope to be and have the courage to try for.
I am song and fear, struggle and panic and ennobling hope. I am the day's work of the weakest man the largest dream of the most daring.
I am the Constitution and the courts, statutes and the statue makers, soldier and battleships, trucker and street sweeper, cook, counselor and clerk.
I am the battle of yesterday and the mistake of tomorrow. I am the mystery of the men who do without knowing why. I am the clutch of an idea and the reasoned purpose of resolution. I am no more than what you believe me to be, and I am all that you believe I can be.
I am what you make me, nothing more.
I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing which makes this nation.
My stars and stripes are your dreams and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith because you have made them so out of your hearts. For you are the makers of the Flag and it is well that you glory in the making.