Veterans Day > The Battle of the Flag


The Battle of the Flag


It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, Who
has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, not the campus
organizer, Who has given us
the freedom to demonstrate.


A protest raged on a courthouse lawn,
Round a makeshift stage they charged
on, Fifteen hundred or more they say,
Had come to burn a Flag that day.

A boy held up the folded Flag, Cursed
it, and called it a dirty rag. An OLD
MAN pushed through the angry crowd,
With a rusty shotgun shouldered proud.

His uniform jacket was old and tight,
Each button polished, shiny and bright.
Slowing walking with a soldier's grace,
Until he and the boy stood face to face.


"Freedom of Speech", the old man said,
Is worth dying for, good men are dead,
You can stand on this courthouse lawn,
And talk us down from dusk to dawn,
But before any Flag gets burned today,
This old Man is going to have his Say!

My father died on a foreign shore,
In a war they said would end all war.
But Tommy and I wasn't even full grown,
Before we fought in a war of our own.

And Tommy died on Iwo Jima's beach,
In the shadow of a hill he couldn't
quite reach, Where five good men
raised this Flag so high, That the


I got this bum leg that I still drag,
Fighting for this same old Flag. Now
there's but one shot in this old gun,
So now it's time to decide which one,
Which one of you will follow our lead,
To stand and die for what you believe?

For as sure as there is a rising
sun, You'll burn in Hell
before this Flag burns, son.

Now this riot never came to pass. The
crowd got quiet and that can of gas,
Got set aside as they walked away, To
talk about what they had heard this day.

And the boy who had called it a "dirty
rag", Handed the OLD SOLDIER the
folded Flag. So the battle of the
Flag this day was won By a tired OLD
SOLDIER with a rusty gun, Who for one
last time, had to show to some


This Flag May Fade, Yet
These Colors Don't Run!