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Volume 2853

Home Guarding for the Liberty Loan
"The Flag Day Speech"
Delivered at Flag Day Exercises, Oak Park
June 14, 1918
by Captain Edgar Rice Burroughs
It is always an honor, my friends, to serve The Flag, however humble our service may be and I consider it an especial honor to be permitted to speak here at the raising of The Flag upon this day that has been set apart in token of our love and reverence for this, our National Emblem.

This flag stands for the best and noblest ideals which we, as a nation, cherish -- it is no better and no worse than these ideals - the flag is what we make it. If as individuals our ideals are unworthy so will our flag become unworthy in the eyes of the other peoples of the world and thus it behooves us to foster in our own bosoms characteristics of honor and integrity, of chivalry and humanity that our beloved flag may reflect only the highest. This is our duty.

A few years ago the yearly observance of Flag Day was almost a necessity lest we should forget that we owned a flag or what it looked like. A few years ago it was something of a fad among so-called intellectuals to scoff at the puerile sentimentality of flag worship. I used to feel that there must be something wrong with me -- some taint of mental weakness - when the tears came to my eyes as the colors passed under armed escort. I know better now - I know that the trouble was with the scoffers; but it was only skin deep - a veneer of affectation which the head of the true patriotism in their hearts has at last consumed.

And so now the annual observance of Flag Day is no longer a necessity - it is merely an added honor to Old Glory - for to-day every day is Flag Day.

And this is just a superficial indication of one of the many blessings that are bound to come o us out of this just and glorious war we are waging to maintain the freedom that is our right and to help other good nations to maintain theirs.

Our eyes have been opened. We still acknowledge the marvels of efficiency; but we have learned that we possess many attributes that are too fine to b e sacrificed upon the altar of efficiency. It is well to develop the mind; but the heart and soul must keep pace with the mind, or the result will be, not a superman; but a super-brute. We must not, then, be ashamed to admit that we possess some of the softer characteristics of humanity, for these are the true measure of the heart and the soul.

We should be proud to openly acknowledge our love of country and of flag; we should be glad that we can choke up when the boys march past and we should doubly rejoice not only that we have such a country and such a flag but that we have such boys to go forth across the seas and fight for them as are fighting on the western front today -- fighting, my friends, to keep that flag at the top of this staff -- forever.

See a related Oak Park article
Oak Parker: September 28, 1918 - Prominent Oak Park Man Honored
ERBzine 0062
THE OAK PARKER, Vol. 34, No. 25, Oak Park, Illinois
September 28, 1918

Volume 2854

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