That flag, for which so many have fought and died, is the emblem of equal rights.
It means free hands, free lips, self-government and the sovereignty of the individual.
It means that this continent has been dedicated to freedom.
It means universal education – light for every mind, knowledge for every child. It means that the schoolhouse is the fortress of Liberty.
It means that “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed;” that each man is accountable to and for the Government; that responsibility goes hand in hand with liberty.
It means that it is the duty of every citizen to bear his share of the public burden – to take part in the affairs of his town, his county, his State and his country.
It means that the ballot-box is the Ark of the Covenant; that the source of authority must not be poisoned.
It means the perpetual right of peaceful revolution.
It means that every citizen of the Republic – native or naturalized – must be protected; at home, in every State – abroad, in every land, on every sea.
It means that all distinctions based on birth or blood, have perished from our laws; that our Government shall stand between labor and capital, between the weak and the strong, between the individual and the corporation, between want and wealth, and give the guarantee of simple justice to each and all.
It means that there shall be a legal remedy for every wrong.
It means national hospitality – that we must welcome to our shores the exiles of the world, and that we may not drive them back. Some may be deformed by labor, dwarfed by hunger, broken in spirit, victims of tyranny and caste – in whose sad faces may be read the touching record of a weary life; and yet their children, born of liberty and love, will be symmetrical and fair, intelligent and free.
That flag is the emblem of a supreme will – of a Nation’s power. Beneath its folds the weakest must be protected and the strongest must obey.
It shields and canopies alike the loftiest mansion and the rudest hut.
That flag was given to the air in the Revolution’s darkest days. It represents the sufferings of the past, the glories yet to be; and like the bow of heaven, it is the child of storm and sun.