It isn't just colors and bunting—The red and the blue and the white.It's something heaps better and finer,—It's the soul of my country in sight!
There's a lot of ceremony 'bout the Flag,Though many half-baked patriots believeSalutin' it and hangin' it correct"Is only loyalty upon the sleeve."But we who work beneath the Flag to-day,Who'll honor it—and die for it, perhaps—Get a slightly different view of the old red, white and blueThan is visioned by th' criticisin' chaps.
It isn't just for decoratin' things,It isn't just an emblem, clean and bright,No matter what its "hoist" or what its "fly,"To us it means our country—wrong or right!The sobby stuff that some good people spoutWon't help a man to understand this view,But: Wherever that Flag goes, the man who follows, knowsThat a better, cleaner citizen goes too!
It's not just a banner to look at,—For which we're expected to fight;It's something that represents freedom;It's the soul of my country—in sight!LOYALTY
This is no time to quibble or to fool;To argue over who was wrong, who right;To measure fealty with a worn foot-rule;To ask: "Shall we keep still or shall we fight?"The Clock of Fate has struck; the hour is here;War is upon us now—not far away;One question only rises, clarion clear:"How may I serve my country, day by day?"
Not all of us may join the khakied throngOf those who answer and go forth to stemThe tide of war. But we can all be strongAnd steady in our loyalty to them!Not with unfettered thought, or tongue let looseIn bitterness and hate—a childish game!But with a faith, untroubled by abuse,That honors those who put the rest to shame!
There is no middle ground on which to stand;We've done with useless pro-and-con debates;The one-time friend, so welcome in this land,Has turned upon us at our very gates.There is no way, with honor, to stand back—Real patriotism isn't cool—then hot;You cannot trim the flag to fit your lack;You are American—or else you're not!THE OLD NATIONAL GUARD
You pull a lot of funny stuff about us, when there's peace,The jokes you spring are sometimes rough, and make a guy see red;But when there's trouble in the air you "vaudevillians" cease,And them that laughed the loudest laugh, salute the flag instead!
Oh, it's kid the boys alongWhen there's nothing going wrong;But when your country's facin' war,You sing a different song!
The khaki that they doll us in ain't seen war service—no!The most of it has been worn thin a-loafin' 'round the mess;Folks think it's great to josh us when things are goin' slow,But when the country's all het up—we ain't so worse, I guess!
Then it's, "Look! The Guard is here;Fine set of men, muh dear."...(We'd like it better if you spreadYour jollies through th' year!)
We're only folks—th' reg'lar kind—that answered to th' call;We may be dumb and also blind—but still we'll see it through!Just wearin' khaki doesn't change our insides—not a'tall!We're human (Does that seem so strange?) waitin' to fight—for you...!