University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension
4-H Ceremonies

Makers of the Flag

This is a ceremony for a day that we pay tribute to our national heritage. It may be part of a citizenship day activity, or it could be used for a national holiday.

(Three voices boom backstage and two 4-H members on stage.)

Flag Good Morning, Flag-makers!
Boy I beg your pardon, Old Glory, aren't you mistaken? I am not the President of the United States.
Girl And I am not a Congresswoman.
Boy and Girl We are 4-H members attending (supply name of activity.)
Flag I greet you again Flag-makers--l know you well. You are the ones who encouraged the voters to go to the polls last fall. I saw both of you in the Citizenship Ceremony and heartily you pledge your efforts to fight for the ideals of this Nation. I've seen you helping with your different community drives. I saw you resist temptation to cheat on an exam. I remember the time that you abided by your parents' wishes when "Just everyone in your group wanted to go to the beach!" I saw you and your fellow 4-H members take a basket to a sick, elderly lady during the Thanksgiving season. I watched as you served well as an officer in a school club and a 4-H Club.

Boy and Girl start to walk away, when the Flag says:

Head Yesterday, the President spoke a word (check newspaper or listen to the news for this); but that act looms no larger on the Flag than the struggle which the boy in Chicago is making to win the Public Speaking prize this summer.
Head Yesterday, the Congress discussed (check newspapers or listen to the news for this.)
Leader

Yesterday, a new law was passed and maybe, a teacher in Illinois taught the first letters to a girl who will one day write a song that will give cheer to the millions of our country. We are all making the Flag.

Flag, speaking strongly:

The work that we do is the making of the Flag. I am not the Flag at all. I am but its shadow.

I am whatever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become. I live a changing life, a life of moods and passions, of heartbreaks and tired muscles.

Sometimes I am strong with pride when men and women do an honest work. Sometimes I droop, for then purpose has gone out of me, and cynically I play the coward. Sometimes, I am loud, garish and full of that ego that blasts judgment. But always, I am all that you hope to be and have the courage to try for.

I am song and fear, struggle and panic and ennobling hope. I am the day's work of the weakest man the largest dream of the most daring.

I am the Constitution and the courts, statutes and the statue makers, soldier and battleships, trucker and street sweeper, cook, counselor and clerk.

I am the battle of yesterday and the mistake of tomorrow. I am the mystery of the men who do without knowing why. I am the clutch of an idea and the reasoned purpose of resolution. I am no more than what you believe me to be, and I am all that you believe I can be.

I am what you make me, nothing more.

I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing which makes this nation.

My stars and stripes are your dreams and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith because you have made them so out of your hearts. For you are the makers of the Flag and it is well that you glory in the making.

Boy and Girl

Boy and Girl walking off Stage

Yes, we are makers of the Flag. We have learned much to help us to be better Flag-makers. Our Flag is only what we make it. It is a symbol to the world of what we stand for. It is up to each of us to make our Flag the symbol of everything true and fine.

I am only one
But I am one.
I cannot do everything
But I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do:
And with the help of others I will do!

Select a Ceremony

Credits