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