Anne's Musings


This past week I picked up the Garden Club wreath used to decorate the Blue Star Memorial Highway for Veterans Day. I had placed small United States flags in the wreath for the holiday, but the Girl Scout leader that I have been (still am a lifetime Girl Scout) for multiple troops in the past made me collect the flags before nightfall.

I just couldn’t leave the flags out in the dark. I have two adult daughters and also was an elementary school principal in the barrio of West Dallas for years, so I have had lots of Girl Scout troops and flag etiquette practice.

Flag etiquette says that you never leave the flag outside overnight unless it is lighted. There was no way to light the memorial marker so I picked up the flags and just reflected on Old Glory, Veterans Day, and our recent national election!

Our flag is such a glorious symbol of our beloved United States, with each color symbolizing a particular trait or characteristic. For example, the color red symbolizes valor, white means purity, and blue stands for vigilance, all representative of who we are as a country. The 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies that broke away from England and King George so many years ago.

A lot of Texas teachers of young children today know a very simple song about the United Stated flag, which still comes unbidden to my head when reflecting on our Stars and Stripes. Carol Perkins, a long deceased teacher acquaintance of mine, wrote this simple rhyme and set it to such a simple melody. Carol, a prolific poet, worked as a consultant at the SW Lab and at Texas Region 13 Educational Service Center, both in Austin.

Carol's song has 12 musical notes set for the following words: “Red, white, and blue! Red, white, and blue! This is my flag! Red, white, and blue! Red, white, and blue! This is my flag! (Repeat!) It is somehow appropriate that when looking at our proud flag; these are the simple words that help new Americans learn English!