"A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the Eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky." Chief Crazy Horse.

   J U S T   A   S I L L Y   O L E    R A G   by James F. Shoup  
Hey Pop!   What is it?   It looks all tattered and worn.  It's all dusty and stained and all the corners are torn.

Oh that!   Well, it was once the symbol of hope, for people to grab when they ran out of rope.   Through all my years it also served as a flag, but today they would say, "it's just a silly ole rag."

Well hows come the colors are red, white and blue?   Do they have any special meaning for ole folks like you?.

Yea....they did at one time and we all understood, but memory fades....and I can't remember very good.

What each color means I cannot say....I can't brag, but....it really don't matter "it's just a silly ole rag."

But pop's what about all the people that died to make sure she the flag had a safe place to fly?   I know it happened I read it in some of your books of dangers they faced and the chances they took.

The blood and the pain and the lives of those folks were written away with one careless stroke so....many a person who fought for that flag kept hidden in shame within that silly ole rag.

They figured if something that we held so dear could be desecrated with out no thought or fear then we must be fools each labeled with a tag "A BUNCH OF DUMMIES FOR FIGHTING FOR A SILLY OLE RAG."

So....why do ya keep it, if that's all that it is, all wrapped in a package and kept hidden from us kids?

It's a sign of my rebellion from my younger days.   I'm telling those judges I won't go their way, to them its is nothing but a silly ole rag, but to people like me it is not just a silly ole rag, to me that silly ole rag is the   "AMERICAN FLAG!!"

   O    G R E A T    S P I R I T   by OGLALA SIOUX  
Whose voice I hear in the winds
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
Hear me! I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

And make my eyes ever
Behold the red and purple sunset.

Respect the things you have made
And my ears sharp to hear your voice.

So that I may understand the
Things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
In every leaf and rock

Not to be greater than others,
But to fight my greatest enemy-----myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with
Clean hands and straight eyes.

As the fading sunset,
My spirit may come to you
Without shame.

  Copyright 2002 Dave Gratton.   All rights reserved.