Patriotism is one of the prime factors in the making of a one hundred per cent American citizen. This is forcibly brought to mind by a shocking oversight among the authorities. Good citizenship and loyalty are inextricably woven into one another, forming that solid and enduring core in every American's heart that makes him spontaneously whip off his hat when Old Glory comes marching down the street fluttering its red and white stripes to the bounding breeze. What a thrill the sight of Our Flag sends coursing through the red blood of every true citizen. "Hats off! The flag is going by." This is the sentiment as the poet has crystallized it.
I have put emphasis on the Flag, because the Flag is loyalty, and loyalty is the Flag, one and inseparable. Wherever the Flag is, there is our love of country, the concrete symbol of all our hopes, all that is best in us, what we have striven for on countless battle fields, in the Spanish-American War, for instance, and the War of 1812. When we lift our hands for the pledge and solemnly repeat: "I pledge allegiance to the flag, and to the country for which it stands, one and indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," can any one-hundred per-cent citizen fail to grasp the deep meaning, the patriotic tenderness, the passion and spirit of his own native land? Do we outrun ourselves in thus eulogizing the United States of America? No. The United States of America is a great and glorious institution and is undoubtedly a success.
But let us pause. Let us now change our beaming faces from a smile of loyalty to deeply furrowed frowns. Let us shake our heads and hold up a finger pregnant with remonstrance. Where is the American Flag in Cambridge? Plainly and simply-nowhere. Hardly the embers of patriotism glow in its frigid bosom. To be specific. Did the Flag, the Stars and Stripes of the American Republic, wave over University Hall on February 22 last? Yes, it did wave from two o'clock in the afternoon until six P. M. A feeble display of the ritual was carried out without that deep sincerity which should have had the flag out and flying at least a week before and a week after the date, February 22. If loyalty really were in the hearts of Harvard men they would have walked bare-headed through the yard with the Battle Hymn of the Republic on their lips.
On an even more important occasion Old Glory failed completely to be displayed over University Hall. On the fiftieth Anniversary of the Crimson the bunting was simpy not in evidence. While the Crimson editors, swathed in the folds of Old Glories, posed the whole day in a magnificent tableau representing Justice and Liberty and Righteousness standing on Bigotry and Prejudice at the Crimson Building on free display to every passerby, nowhere else did a single man pause to meditate on his country's emblem. Did one man in Harvard College say to himself in a reverential whisper: "Red is for bravery, blue for truth, and white for chastity?"
Let these awful statistics carry their own message to everyone of us. The Crimson feels it is going forth like the Crusaders of old to put the United States of America back on the map, and to make Harvard Man and One Hundred Per Cent American Citizen synonymous. Hats off! The Crimson and the American Flag are going by!