The name "Old Glory" was first applied to the U.S. flag
by a young sea captain who lived in Salem, Mass. On his
twenty-first birthday, March 17, 1824, Capt. William
Driver was presented a beautiful flag by his mother and
a group of Salem girls. Driver was delighted with the
gift. He exclaimed, "I name her 'Old Glory." Then Old
Glory accompanied the captain on his many voyages.
Captain Driver quit the sea in 1837. He settled in
Nashville, Tenn. On patriotic days he displayed Old
Glory proudly from a rope extending from his house to a
tree across the street. After Tennessee seceded from
the Union in 1861, Captain Driver hid Old Glory. He
sewed the flag inside a comforter. When Union soldiers
entered Nashville on February 25, 1862, Driver removed
Old Glory from its hiding place. He carried the flag to
the state capitol building and raised it.
Shortly before his death, the old sea captain placed
a small bundle into the arms of his daughter. He said
to her, "Mary Jane, this is my ship flag, Old Glory. It
has been my constant companion. I love it as a mother
loves her child. Cherish it as I have cherished
The flag remained as a precious heirloom in the
Driver family until 1922. Then it was sent to the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, where it is
carefully preserved under glass today.
As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton's
teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge
of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down,
and eventually recorded, his recollection of this
lecture. It is followed by an observation of his
I - - Me; an individual; a committee
Pledge - - Dedicate all of my
worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance - - My love and my
To the Flag - - Our standard; Old
Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there
is respect, because your loyalty has given her a
dignity that shouts, "Freedom is everybody's
United - - That means that we have
all come together.
States - - Individual communities
that have united into forty-eight great states.
Forty-eight individual communities with pride and
dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary
boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is
love for country.
And to the Republic - - Republic--a
state in which sovereign power is invested in
representatives chosen by the people to govern. And
government is the people; and it's from the people to
the leaders, not from the leaders to the
For which it stands
One Nation - - One Nation--meaning,
so blessed by God.
Indivisible - - Incapable of being
With Liberty - - Which is Freedom;
the right of power to live one's own life, without
threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice - - The principle, or
qualities, of dealing fairly with others.
For All - - For All--which means,
boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is
"And now, boys and girls, let me
hear you recite the Pledge of
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of
the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands;
one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and
justice for all.
Since I was a small boy, two states
have been added to our country, and two words have been
added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God.
Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer,
and that would be eliminated from schools, too?"
How to fold the American Flag
The first fold of our flag is a symbol
The second fold is a symbol of our
belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and
remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave
a portion of life for the defense of our country to
attain a peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our
weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in
God, it is to him we turn in times of peace as well as
in times of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our
country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our
country, in dealing with other countries, may she
always be right; but it is still our country, right or
The sixth fold is for where our
hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge
allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands, one nation,
under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for
The seventh fold is a tribute to our
Armed Forces, for it is through the armed Forces that
we protect our country and our flag against all her
enemies, whether they be found within or without the
boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the
one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death,
that we might see the light of day, and to honor
mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to
womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love,
loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and
women who have made this country great have been
The tenth fold is a tribute to
father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters
for the defense of our country since he or she was
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a
Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the
seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in
their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a
Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and
glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded,
the stars are upper most reminding us of our national
motto, "In God we Trust."
After the flag is completely folded
and tucked in , it takes on the appearance of a cocked
hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under
General George Washington and the sailors and marines
who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were
followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed
Forces of the United States, preserving for us the
rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy
Some call me Old Glory, others call me
the Star Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I
am your Flag - the Flag of the United States of
America. There has been something that has been
bothering me, so I thought that I might talk it over
with you here today.
I remember some time ago, (I think
it was Memorial Day, or was it Veterans' Day?) that
people were lined up on both sides of the street for a
parade. A high school band was behind me and,
naturally, I was leading the parade. When your Daddy
saw me coming along waving in the breeze, he
immediately removed his hat and placed it so that his
right hand was directly over his heart.
And you - I remember you.
Standing there as straight as a
soldier, you didn't have any hat, but you were giving
me the right salute. Remember, they taught you in
school to place your right hand over your heart, and
little sister, not to be outdone, was saluting the same
as you. There were some soldiers home on leave and they
were standing at attention giving the military salute.
Oh, I was very proud as I came down your street that
Now, I may sound as if I am a little
conceited, Well I am!
I have a right to be, because I
represent you, the people of the United States of
But what happened? I am still the
same old flag. Oh, I have a couple more stars added
since you were a boy. A lot more stars added since the
beginning of this country, and and lot more blood shed
since that patroitic day so long ago.
Now I don't feel as proud as I used
to. When I come down your street, some people just
stand there with their hands in their pockets and give
me a small glance and then look away. I see children
running around and shouting. They don't seem to know
who I am.
Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore?
Have some people forgotten what I stand for? Have they
forgotten all the battlefields where men have fought
and died to keep this nation free? When you salute me
you are actually saluting them!
Take a look at the memorial rolls
some time. Look at the names of those who never came
back. Some of them were friends and relatives of yours.
That's whom you are saluting, not me!
Well, it won't be long until I'll be
coming down your street again. So, when you see me,
stand straight, place your hand over your heart and
you'll see me waving back-- that's my salute to you.
And then I will know you remember who I am...
I'll wave to all of you, as you leave
when it's time for you to go.
As you sail from sea to shining sea
take the colors of your home.
Take me with you, wherever you go
keep me in your heart each night.
And if you forget what you're fighting for
remember me, in flight.
Take me out to the battleground,
and then tear me into shreds.
Wrap the bleeding wound with me,
and bind the aching head.
Plunge me into the coldest water
to soothe the fevered brow.
Tie me across the shattered limb,
I'll support it now.
Let me dry the homesick tear,
and hold closed, the gaping chest,
for here, in the field, where hope is lost
I am at my best.
And then, burn what is left of me,
for warmth into the night.
So I may bring comfort, where there is need
and courage, for the fight.
My red is deeper, for the blood you've shed.
My white is purer, for your pain.
My blue will be bluer than the deepest sea
when you come home again.
Then I'll rise to the top of the flagpole,
where my colors are always flown,
and from there, when the war is over
I'll wave, to welcome you home.
Ragged Old Flag
I walked through a county courthouse
On a park bench an old man was sitting
I said, "Your old courthouse is
kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got
hanging on it.
He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I
don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old
"You see, we got a little hole in
that flag there
When Washington took it across the
And it got powder-burned the night
Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing _Oh Say Can You
And it got a bad rip in New
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its
"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on
She got cut with a sword at
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old
"On Flanders Field in World War
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War
She hung limp and low by the time it was
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle
"She waved from our ships upon the
And now they've about quit waving her back here at
In her own good land she's been
She's been burned, dishonored, denied and
"And the government for which she
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and
But she's in good shape for the shape she's
'Cause she's been through the fire
And I believe she can take a whole lot
"So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground And we fold her up
On second thought I DO like to
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old
"I was born July 4th, 1776, and the Declaration of
Independence is my birth certificate. The bloodlines of
the world run through my veins for I offer freedom to
I stand for many things and many people. I am Nathan
Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired
the shot heard 'round the world. I am presidents
Washington and Grant. Admirals John Paul Jones and
Chester Nimitz, and Generals Stormin' Norman
Schwartzkopf and Colin Powell. When freedom called, I
answered and I stayed until it was over.
I left my heroic dead in places like Flanders Field,
the Rocks of Coregidor, hills of Korea, jungles of Viet
Nam and the sands of Desert Storm. My threads are
painted with the blood spilled by the men and women who
fought to defend those values I hold sacred. I will
never forget the American Sons and Daughters who stood
by my side, no matter what the cost.
I was conceived in freedom and, God willing, in
freedom may I spend the rest of my days. This is my
hope, my dream, my prayer. I have carried my message of
hope all across the globe. May I always posses the
integrity to remain the beacon of strength and the
citadel of freedom to the rest of the world. For I am
you. And you are Americans... God bless America!"
Contributed by HMC (FMF)Tony Zilar, USN
Guidelines for displaying Old
- Sunrise to sunset.
- At all times if it's illuminated during
- Should not be displayed during rain, snow and
wind storms unless it is an all-weather flag.
- Should be displayed often, but especially on
national and state holidays and special
- Should be displayed on or near the main building
of public institutions, schools during school days,
and polling places on election days.
- It should be hoisted briskly and lowered
ceremoniously. When carried in procession with other
flags, the U.S. flag should be either on the marching
right (the flag's right) or to the front and center
of the flag line.
- When displayed on a float in a parade, the flag
should be hung from a staff or suspended so it falls
- It should not be draped over a vehicle.
- When displayed with another flag against a wall
from crossed staffs, the U.S. flag should be on its
own right (left to a person facing the wall) and its
staff should be in front of the other flag's
- In a group of flags displayed from staffs, the
U.S. flag should be at the center and the highest
- When flags of states, cities or organizations are
flown on the same staff, the U.S. flag must be at the
top (except during church services conducted at sea
by Navy chaplains).
- When other flags are flown from adjacent staffs,
the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered
- It must be on the right of other flags and no
other flag should stand higher than it.
- Flags of other nations should be flown from
- International custom dictates that flags of
different nations be displayed at the same height in
peacetime and be approximately the same size.
- If the flag is suspended outdoors from a rope
stretched from a building to a pole, the flag should
be hoisted out from the building with the union
- When the flag is displayed other than from a
staff, it should be flat or suspended so that it
- When displayed against something, such as a wall,
the union should be at the top and to the flag's own
right, the observer's left - whether displayed
horizontally or vertically.
- When displayed over a street or sidewalk, where
it can be seen from either side, be sure the union is
to the north on an east-west street, and to the east
on a north-south street.
- The same directions apply in a building lobby or
corridor with entrances to the east and west or north
- When displayed flat against the wall on a
speaker's platform, the flag should be above and
behind the speaker with the union on the left side as
the audience looks at it (again, the flag's
- When the flag hangs from a staff in a church or
public place, it should appear to the audience on the
left, the speaker's right.
- Any other flags displayed should be placed on the
opposite side of the speaker.
- The flag may cover a casket, but should not cover
a statue or monument for unveiling.
- On a casket, the union (blue field) should be at
the deceased person's head and heart, over the left
shoulder. But the flag should be removed before the
casket is lowered into the grave and should never
touch the ground.
- It should never be draped or drawn back in
- Draped red, white and blue bunting should be used
for decoration, with the blue at the top and red at
- The flag may be flown at half-staff to honor a
newly deceased federal or state government official
by order of the president or the governor,
- On Memorial Day, the flag should be displayed at
half-staff until noon.
- Whenever the flag is displayed at half-staff, it
should be first raised to the top.
- Lowering from half-staff is preceded by first
raising it momentarily to the top.
Disposing of the American Flag
Remember never burn a complete flag as it is still "Old
Glory". Cut away the field of blue stars then it is no
longer our flag. The pieces may then be burned
separately for disposal. The Boy Scouts even go so far
as to cut away the stipes from one another and burn
them separately or one at a time.
Thanks to Boyd
Fallwell of the Veterans of America Honor
Guard site for this info.