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“ Not to the Living, but to the Dead.”
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
MEMORY OF THOSE GALLANT SPIRITS
WHO, BY LAND OR SEA, HAVE FOUGHT,
Fallen in Defence
THE BANNER WHICH IT COMMEMORATES.
“ This is a maxim which I have received by hereditary tradition, not only from my father, but also from my grandfather and his ancestors, that, after what I owe to God, nothing should be more dear or sacred than the love and respect I owe to my country.” – DET#00.
"Land of my birth ! thy glorious stars
Float over shore and sea,
They were not born to flee ;
Till all the earth be free:
“There is the national flag! He must be cold, indeed, who can look upon its folds rippling in the breeze without pride of country. If he be in a foreign land, the flag is companionship, and country itself, with all its endearments. Who, as he sees it, can think of a State merely? Whose eye, once fastened upon its radiant trophies, can fail to recognize the image of the whole nation ? It has been called a floating piece of poetry;' and yet I know not if it have any intrinsic beauty beyond other ensigns. Its highest beauty is in what it symbolizes. It is because it represents all, that all gaze at it with delight and reverence. It is a piece of bunting lifted in the air ; but it speaks sublimely, and every part has a voice. Its stripes of alternate red and white proclaim the original union of thirteen States to maintain the Declaration of Independence. Its stars, white on a field of blue, proclaim that union of States constituting our national constellation which receives a new star with every new State. The two together signify union, past and present. The very colors have a language which was officially recognized by our fathers. White is for purity ; red, for valor ; blue, for justice; and all together — bunting, stripes, stars, and colors, blazing in the sky - make the flag of our country, to be cherished by all our hearts, to be upheld by all our hands." – CHARLES SUMNER.
“I have seen the glories of art and architecture, and mountain and river; I have seen the sunset on Jungfrau, and the full moon rise over Mont Blanc; but the fairest vision on which these eyes ever looked was the flag of my country in a foreign land. Beautiful as a flower to those who love it, terrible as a meteor to those who hate, it is the symbol of the power and glory, and the honor of fifty millions of Americans." – GEORGE F. HOAR. 1878.
“Up many a fortress wall
They charged, those boys in blue;
To fall for me and you !
For me and you!
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
In preparing this book in its permanent form, the errors of the press and of fact inseparable from the first issue of so novel and comprehensive a work have been corrected, much new matter has been added, and some of the original text discarded, in order to keep the book within reasonable limits, while the general plan and arrangement is the same. The colored plates also have been rearranged and changed, and the wood engravings largely increased, while the maps and autographies of national songs and documents are a new and distinct feature.
The aim of the book is to perpetuate and intensify a love for our Union, through the flag which symbolizes it. The story of Our flag and of the Southern flags in the Civil War show graphically the madness of the time, and will, it is hoped, serve to render the crime of secession hideous, and afford a moral aid towards preventing a recurrence of such fratricide against the life of the nation.
To my sensitive Southern friends who have objected to being called “traitors' and 6 rebels' I would say, those words are not intended in an offensive sense ; and I respectfully refer them to General Jackson's opinion of nullification,
under his own hand, on page 354, and to the general dictionary definition :- TRAITOR.“ One who violates his allegiance;” “one who takes arms and levies war against his country,” &c. REBEL. “One who defies and seeks to overthrow the authority to which he is rightfully subject." I think, under these definitions, they must plead guilty to both counts. They were “bad boys,' who barred themselves out, but, having returned to their allegiance, all that is forgiven; and, having learned by experience, it is hoped they will never again raise a hand to subvert the majesty and authority of the Union.
Although we are comparatively a new nation, our Stars and Stripes may to-day claim antiquity among national flags. They are older than the present flag of Great Britain, established in 1801; than the present flag of Spain, established in 1785; than the French tricolor, decreed in 1794; than the existing flag of Portugal, established in 1830; than the flag of the Empire of Germany, which represents the sovereignty of fourteen distinct flags and States, established in 1870; than the Italian tricolor, established in 1848; the Swedish Norwegian ensign; the recent flags of the old empires of China and Japan ; or the flags of all the South American States, which have very generally been modelled from Our Flag
I wish to return my acknowledgments to many old friends for their continued interest in my work, who have given me much valuable aid and information; and I would also thank the Hon. A. R. SPOFFORD, Librarian of Congress, H. A. Homes, LL.D., Librarian of the New York State Library, Hon. WILLIAM A. COURTENAY, Mayor of Charleston, S. C., Hon. John F. H. CLAIBORNE, of Natchez, ex-Governor of Mississippi, Colonel J. P. NICHOLSON, of