With the American Civil War just ending, this patriotic little poem was no doubt a popular little piece. “The American Flag” was not the only celebration of patriotism to appear in the pages of The Student and Schoolmate that year, but it is one of the most quotable.

“The American Flag,” by Mrs. P. A. Hanaford (from Student and Schoolmate, April 1865; p. 116)

[The following lines were recited by a little boy at a public school examination, in a New England town. The young patriot held the star-spangled banner in his hand, and his comrades joined in the chorus.]

This is our flag, and may it wave

Wide over land and sea!

Though others love a different flag,

This is the flag for me.

Chorus.—And that’s the flag for all our land,—

We will revere no other,

And he who loves the symbol fair,

Shall be to us a brother.

America’s the land we love,

Our broad, fair land so free,

And, schoolmates, whereso’er I go,

This is the flag for me.


These glorious stars and radiant stripes

With youthful joy I see,

May no rude hand its beauty mar,

This is the flag for me.


On many a battle-field, alas!

Our banner now must be;

But torn, or pierced by rebel balls,

This is the flag for me!


God speed our bright, star-spangled flag,

Where e’er the battle be!—

I cannot fight, but I can choose,

And that’s the flag for me.


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