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Ode To The Flag

Copyright 7-4-1970
Renewed 2008,2012
Linda Sheehan Cunningham
Our nation's flag is a stirring sight As it flutters proudly in the breeze. Its colors of blue, red and white Means so much to you and me; Red stands for courage and hardiness, The white means innocence and purity, Blue for justice, perseverance and vigilance In its promise to keep us free. This banner stands for a bountiful land; Its government, people and ideals, The stripes for the thirteen colonies stand, Its symbolism is very real. Each state now is represented By a star of white on blue. President Washington first presented The AMERICAN FLAG to you. Many brave men have fought and died To protect it from dishonor and disgrace. Wives have mourned and mothers have cried So we could remain . . . The UNITED States. The sight of this banner brings feelings of joy, Of courage, pride and freedom to all. A symbol of our nation in all its glory... On the moon OLD GLORY stands tall. Welcome Home and Thank You, Linda Sheehan Cunningham, 1970, 2012

All works Linda Cunningham




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 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.

Best regards,

Christine E. Zerillo, Executive Director

Hesser College

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.

Please tune in to Alan trout's THIRD COAST LIVE radio show at his sits at p

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

and there..

Linda Cunningham

Thank you for your interest.

News: My Ode was presented to my Grade School to the principal in Oct 213

at Springfield WV.

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.


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,

Monica Kent

This why I do it folks.. Now, more than ever, we need this!

See Backstage at the Opry here Memorial Day Page