Paul C. Graham
Reprinted from ďDear AbbyĒ
Universal Press Syndicate

Hello. Remember me? Some people 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.

Something has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you-because it is about you and me.

I remember some time ago, people would line up on both sides of the street to watch the parade, and naturally I was leading every one, proudly waving in the breeze.

When your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that his hand was directly over his heart-remember?

And you, I remember, were standing there, straight as a soldier. You didnít have a hat, but you were giving the right salute. Remember your little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you with her right hand over her heart-remember?

What happened? Iím still the same old flag. Oh, Iíve added a few more stars since you were a boy, and a lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago. But now, somehow I donít feel as proud as I used to feel. When I come down your street, all too often you just stand there with your hands in your pockets. You may give me a glance, and then you look away.

I saw one man take his hat off, then he looked around, and when he didnít see anybody else take off his hat, he quickly put his on again.

Is it wrong to be patriotic today? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I have been?

Well, it wonít be long until Iíll be coming down your street again. So when you see me, please stand straight and place your hand over your heart, and Iíll know that you remember. Iíll salute you by waving back!