Old Glory's Past And Present
Posted On: 2020-11-09
PERSONNEL: Narrator, George Washington, Captain Sam Reid (Naval Capt.), Henry Ward Beecher (Minister), Pres. Woodrow Wilson, 11 other Cub Scouts
EQUIPMENT: Several flags. They can be posters made by the boys (copied from the genuine flag), flags are sewn for the occasion, or made on felt squares. Four Colonial wilderness flags, Grand Union flag, Betsy Ross or the First Stars and Stripes flag, Fifteen Stars and Stripes flag, 48-star flag, 2 each 50-star flags.
BOY #1: (Holding star): The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal towards which man has aspired.
BOY #2: (Holding red stripe): The stripe is symbolic of the ray of light shining from the sun.
NARRATOR: (Standing by the American flag posted in a stand): Henry Ward Beecher said, "A thoughtful mind when it sees a nation's flag, sees not the flag, but the nation itself. And whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag, the government, the principles, the truths, the history that belong to the nation that sets it forth. The American flag has been a symbol of liberty and men rejoiced in it."
BOY #3: Our Colonial forefathers adopted flags symbolic of their struggles with the wilderness. (Show representative flags) Beavers, pine trees, rattlesnakes were some of the symbols used on their flags.
BOY #4: (Shows flags with mottoes) These flags also had mottoes such as Liberty, "Appeal to Heaven," "Don't Tread on Me."
NARRATOR: The first flag of the colonists to show any resemblance to the present stars and stripes was the Grand Union Flag sometimes call the "Congress Colors."
(Boy 5 stands in the middle with Boys 6 & 7 on either side.)
BOY #5: (Holding up Grand Union Flag) The Grand Union Flag has 13 alternating red and white stripes representing the 13 colonies with a blue field in the upper left-hand corner that had on it the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew suggesting union with the Mother Country, England.
BOY #6: This flag flew from the ships of the colonial fleet in the Delaware River, Dec. 1775.
BOY #7: The Grand Union Flag was the standard of the Continental Army when it was formed in January 1776.
NARRATOR: When the Star-Spangled Banner was flown by the Continental Army, George Washington said:
BOY #8 (George Washington): "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by the white stripes thus showing that we have separated from her; and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."
BOY #9: The first Army flag, popularly known as the Betsy Ross Flag (show flag) had the stars around in a
circle based on the idea that no colony should be more important than another.
NARRATOR: As each new state was admitted to the union, a star and stripe was added (show 15 stars and stripes flag). In January 1794, a resolution was adopted that the flag should have 15 stars and stripes for the new states, Kentucky and Vermont. But, Captain Samuel C. Reid suggested to Congress:
BOY #10: (Capt. Reid): I suggest that the stripes on the flag remain 13 representing the Thirteen Colonies and that a star be added to the blue field for each new state coming into the Union.
NARRATOR: On April 14, 1818, Congress passed a law that a star is added for each new state on the Fourth of July after its admission.
BOY #11: (Holding 48-star flag): When Arizona and New Mexico were admitted to the Union in 1912, we had a 48-star flag.
BOY #12: (Holding 49-star flag) In 1959, Alaska added the 49th star.
BOY #13: (Holding flag of 50 stars): In 1960, the new state of Hawaii gave our flag its 50th star.
Display present American flag in a darkened room with the spotlight shining on it. Two boys representing President Wilson and Henry Ward Beecher stand on either side of the flag.
NARRATOR: Our flag of 50 stars and 13 stripes has witnessed a great and ever-changing history. Two of our country's statesmen express their feelings for our American flag. In 1812 Henry Ward Beecher said:
BOY #14: (Henry Beecher): "As at the early dawn the stars shine forth while it rows light, and then as the sun advances that light breaks into banks and steaming lines of color, the glowing red and intense white, striving together, and ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent; so on the American flag, stars and beams of many-colored light shine out together..."
NARRATOR: President Woodrow Wilson on Flag Day 1917 added:
BOY #15 (Pres. Wilson): "This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours."
1. A tape of the speaking parts can be pre-recorded and the actors can pantomime it.
2. George Washington, Capt. Reid, Henry Beecher, Pres. Wilson can be portrayed by one simple characteristic prop such as a wig or hat representative of the man and his period, or full costume may be used.