The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Service Flag

SAY, Pa! What is a service flag?

I see them everywhere.

There's little stars sewed on them;

What are they doing there?

Sometimes there's lots of little stars,

And sometimes just a few.

Poor Widow Jones has only one--

I saw her crying, too.

My darling boy, those little stars

Upon a field of white,

Are emblems of our glorious boys

Enrolling for the right.

The border, as you see, is red,

Which represents their blood;

The stars are blue, the heavenly hue;

The white is always good.

Each star you see means some brave boy

Has left his hearth and home

And gone to fight for Freedom's cause

Wherever he may roam.

So when you see a lot of stars

Lift up your heart with joy,

And when you see a single one

Pray for some mother's boy.

They go away, those gallant lads,

Across the wreck-strewn sea;

They go to pledge their country's faith

For God and liberty

The Stars and Stripes they bear aloft

To join the British flag,

And, with the colors of brave France,

They mean to end "Der Tag."

And soon, my boy, that service flag,

Born in the nation's heart,

Will show the world that, when unfurled,

We proudly take our part.