Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Respect the Flag
Respect the Flag
Mon, 7 Jun 1999 10:53:01 -0400
This was sent to me by a fellow scouter. Pete Johnson went home suddenly
last winter, leaving a grieving troop and friends. Please share the
following with your troops and packs.
---forwarded from Tony Bebber, ASM for T-312----
Fellow Scouts and Scouters,
Last August, our Scoutmaster Pete Johnson emailed a number of us a nice
quote from an old Boy Scout Handbook. We chatted later that it would be
good to send out again for Flag Day and he asked me to remind him. Since
he's no longer with us physically, I guess it falls to me.
Reading it again reminds me of our January campout when we visited Cowpens
National Battlefield. A group of us, including Dr. J, was standing near the
monument to the fallen soldiers. The small contingent of Colonial and
British re-enactors marched down the trail with the Stars and Stripes
leading the way. SPL Victor Kemper called us to attention and a "Scout
Salute". Talk about goose bumps!
Memorial Day has just passed, Flag Day is next week (6/14). Independence
Day is coming soon and even Veterans Day is not too far away. When you get
the opportunity, stand up and salute! Think of all those who paved the way
to liberty and freedom with their hardship and blood. See if you don't get
goose bumps or a lump in your throat.
Yours in Scouting,
Subject: Quotes from Old Time Scouting
The following is from a 1936 Boy Scout Handbook given to me as a present by
my wife upon her return from Texas this week. I read it and thought, 'Wow,
they had the same problems then.' I also got a lump in my throat and choked
RESPECT THE FLAG
"When you see The Stars and Stripes displayed, son, stand up and take off
your hat. Somebody may titter. It is in the blood of some to deride all
expression of noble sentiment. You may blaspheme in the street and stagger
drunken in public places, and the bystanders will not pay much attention to
you; but if you should get down on your knees and pray to Almighty God or if
you should stand bareheaded while a company of old soldiers marches by with
flags to the breeze, some people will think you are showing off.
"But don't you mind! When Old Glory comes along, salute, and let them think
what they please! When you hear the band play 'The Star Spangled Banner'
while you are in a restaurant or hotel dining room, get up even if you rise
alone; stand there and don't be ashamed of it either!
"For of all the flags since the world began there is none other so full of
meaning as The Flag of this country. That piece of red, white and blue
bunting means five thousand years of struggle upward. It is the full-grown
flower of ages of fighting for liberty. It is the century plant of human
hope in bloom.
"Your Flag stands for humanity, for an equal opportunity to all the sons of
men. Of course we haven't arrived at that goal; there are many injustices
yet among us, many senseless and cruel customs of the past still clinging to
us, but the only hope of righting the wrongs of men lies in the feeling
produced in our bosoms by the sight of that Flag.
"Other flags mean a glorious past; this Flag is a glorious future. It is
not so much The Flag of our fathers as it is The Flag of our children, and
of all children's children yet unborn. It is The Flag of tomorrow. It is
the signal of "Good Time Coming." It is not the flag of your king-it is The
Flag of yourself and of all your neighbors.
"Don't be ashamed when your throat chokes and the tears come, as you see it
flying from the masts of our ships on all the seas or floating from every
flagstaff of the Republic. You will never have a worthier emotion.
Reverence it as you would reverence the signature of the Deity.
"Listen, son! The band is playing the National Anthem-'The Star Spangled
Banner'! They have let loose Old Glory yonder. Stand up-and others will
stand up with you."
Frank Crane in *New York Globe*