Joan M. Lacombe, who serves as Aiken’s poet laureate read this original poem before the Aiken City Council and those assembled for a Monday City Council Meeting to mark Flag Day this month.
The Stars and Stripes
The flag, the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory
Its colors–red, white and blue–tell America’s story.
On a day so clear and bright, what a moving sight!
The flag hoisted high waving in the breeze
Each draft of wind its colors seize.
Soldiers carry it bravely into the fray
Ordinary folks proudly put it on public display.
This flag, some wear it as a pin on their lapel
Boasting happiness in this land to dwell.
I wear it in my heart, pledging to do my part.
This flag has been spat on, stomped on, burned and defiled
No soldier/veteran would ever commit an act so vile.
Yet by these very veterans, some lives given in sacrifice
For our citizens, their First Amendment rights to exercise
From the ashes, like a Phoenix, the flag will rise
Snatched up by a young Olympian racing for the prize Leading the
Parade of Champions for Team USA
Colors boldly unfurled leading the way.
From the ultimate place of honor above the
Capitol Dome To the doorpost of the most modest of rural homes
by ordinary citizens it is honored and respected,
This humble sense of pride so easily detected.
RED for the blood of patriots shed for our freedom,
The FAITH of courageous citizens pledging life and fortune.
WHITE stars for the purity of purpose on a field of blue
BLUE for the HOPE of a nation so brand spanking new.
Blue stretching to the heights of heaven and to the depths of the sea.
Blue for the oceans that define our boundaries, east and west
Determining the heights and depths to which we go to pursue our quest.
As a student, with hand over heart, I stood to pledge allegiance to this flag.
For all veterans disabled by war who cannot stand
And even for those who will not stand — I will do so to honor this
“Grand Old Flag.”
–Joan M. Lacombe Flag Day June 14, 2017