Baloo's Bugle

June 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 11
July 2007 Theme

Theme: Rockets Red Glare
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
Tiger Cub


Flag Makers
Baltimore Area Council

From an address delivered by Franklin K. Lane, then Secretary of the Interior, before more than 1,000 employees of the Department of the Interior on Flag Day, June 14, 1914.

This morning, as I passed into the Land Office, the Flag dropped me a most cordial salutation, and from its rippling folds I heard it say: 'Good morning, Mr Flag Maker'

'I beg your pardon, Old Glory,' I said. 'Aren't you mistaken? I am not the President of the United States, nor a member of Congress, nor even a general in the Army. I am only a government clerk.

'I greet you again, Mr. Flag Maker.' replied the cheerful voice. 'I know you well. You are the man who worked in the swelter of yesterday, straightening out the tangle of that farmer's homestead in Idaho, or perhaps you found the mistake in that Indian contract in Oklahoma, or helped to clear that patent for a hopeful inventor in New York, or pushed the opening of that new ditch in Colorado, or made that mine in Illinois more safe, or brought relief to the old soldier in Wyoming. No matter: what- ever one of these beneficent individuals you happen to be, I give you greeting. Mr. Flag Maker'

I was about to pass on, when the Flag stopped me with these words:

'Yesterday the President spoke a word that made happier the future of ten million peons in Mexico; but that act looms no larger on the Flag than the struggle which the boy in Georgia is making to win the Corn Club prize this summer. 

'Yesterday the Congress spoke a word which will open the door of Alaska; but a mother in Michigan worked from sunrise until far into the night, to give her boy an education. She, too, is making the Flag. 

'Yesterday we made a new law to prevent financial panics, and yesterday, maybe a schoolteacher in Ohio taught his first letters to a boy who will one day write a song that will give cheer to the millions of our race.  We are all making the Flag.' 

'But,' I said impatiently, 'these people were only working!' 

Then came a great shout from the Flag: 

'The work that we do is the making of the Flag.

I am not the flag; not 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 am song and fear, struggle and panic, and ennobling hope.

I am the day’s work of the weakest man,
and the largest dream of the most daring.

I am the Constitution and the courts,
statutes and the statute-makers,
soldier and dreadnaught,
drayman and streetsweep,
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 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,
a pictured suggestion of that great thing which makes this nation.

My stars and stripes are your dream and your labors.
They are bright with cheer,
brilliant with courage, and 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.

Franklin K. Lane,
former Secretary of the Interior (1913-1920)
from an address given on Flag Day, June 14, 1914
The entire text of the speech is available at

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2019 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)