The Ode To The Flag was written on July 4, 1970, for the dedication of the
Riverdale Postal Facility in Riverdale, MD. It was a time when the flag was
being burned and of protesting all across the United States. This poem has
been in the Congressional Record several times and in many Newspapers,
magazines and books. In at least two schools (one in Bowie, MD, and some in
Peoria, Ill.) it is a requirement to memorize it. It has been used in
hundreds of ceremonies including several at the White House, in public
schools, Veterans organization affairs and ceremonies, at dedications, Flag
presentations, and Flag Day services. Also, patriotic events such as Vietnam
and Desert Storm rallies. In Winchester, it has been read and sung on two TV
shows and at the dedication of our own new Veteran's Monument at Shenandoah
Memorial Cemetery. I had the pleasure of reading it at a rally for Run For
The Wall and met Adrian Conaur, of Good Morning Viet Nam fame. Joan Rivers
read it on her show during Desert Storm.
The Ode hangs on thousands of walls all over the world.
You can see it on the Internet in several places. I have letters from
dignitaries and celebrities including Bob Hope, Carol Burnette, Red Skelton,
Johnny Cash, several senators, congressmen, governors, mayors, etc. I have
received many letters from the White House signed by assistants, aides and
secretaries, but on June 14, 1995 I received a letter from our president,
Bill Clinton. I also received a letter from West Virginia Governor, Gaston
Caperton, and West Virginia Department of Motor of Motor Vehicles,
Commissioner Jane L. Cline.
I worked at the Bowie Post Office when I was asked to write the Ode for the
dedication. Many years later I met Alan Trout at a rally in Winchester at
the Court House. We put our talents together and put the Ode into song. We
now write many songs together. Alan and his wife and five children have now
moved to Nashville in August 1995. He has a TV show, a radio show, (Third
Coast Live), a recording studio and is a producer.
I have heard from many Veterans after Desert Storm, who said this poem was
read as they prepared to leave for home. Their families sent the poem to
them. I give copies of the Ode to anyone who wants them and probably some
who do not. I also have large posters ready for framing. I have them with me
all the time. I also have the Ode as a song on CD.
I have a web-site at flaglady43.com where the Ode has its own page and
other information. The song is playing in the background. See the Patriotic
On the main page, I am singing.
I used to go out and read the Ode where ever I could. Due to declining
health, I no longer do that, but I never refuse a request to appear where
someone else is reading it if it is nearby. Many natural-born Americans do
not know what it stands for.
The most recent to date of people asking me to use/read the Ode was this
request: "for a flag dedication ceremony at our new Concord, NH campus of Hesser
College. It seems to be a most fitting tribute to the flag. We will be
holding our ceremony on Nov 11, 2011. Please let me know if you approve.
Christine E. Zerillo, Executive Director
Concord, NH 03301"
As always, I thank the Veterans of all wars and welcome home the returning
servicemen and women. My heart is with them and their families.
I am from Romney WV in Hampshire County, but recently moved to live near one
of my son's and his family in Florida,where I live now. My parents were
bluegrass/square Dance musicians in WV from the 40s to the late 80s‘ I
still sing, mostly karaoke wherever I can find it, but also with a band here
Thank you for your interest.
There posters suitable for framing, also 8X11 of the Ode. A few left!
Each one includes the "History", updated to the minute!
The SONG is a little different than the Poem, of course, and
is available on Cassette and CD.
e-mail for info .. ME HERE
There is also a few CDs with Patsy Cline Songs and others That I sing.
You can find me on Facebook .. flaglady Linda Cunningham, FLorida
or just search Linda-Moreland Kesner-Sheehan Cunningham
Backstage at the opry.!!
1998 news release here
I am originally from Romney, WV and lived in Winchester, Va. for 16 years.
The Ode is available a CD .. Also a large
Poster suitable for framing. And it hangs in hundreds of places.
PROPER FLAG ETIQUETTE
This letter prompted the above link
I just wanted to say thanks for making your page, it was a really useful
resource for my son's boy scout troop.
As a thank you, for your help I wanted to share with you another great source
on flag etiquette that the troop has found very informative.
If it's not too much trouble, would you mind adding it to your page for me? I
think it has some important information for your visitors and the troop
leader said he'd love to continue using your site with future troops. Thanks
Have a great day,
This why I do it folks.. Now, more than ever, we need this!
See Backstage at the Opry here
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