Poems About America

Creation of the Flag of the Thirteen Colonies

We sewed the flag together with much help,
    parts of it done by one pair of hands, parts by another.
In all, thirteen women came together to sew the flag
    representing the thirteen colonies that were to be united.

Some thought us foolish for carrying out
    such an obvious ritual,
But we felt in our hearts that there was a reason to do this -
    a reason that had to do with the meaning of the flag
    and the purpose of the thirteen colonies coming together.
What that reason was, God only knew,
    for it was clear that there was a plan,
    but how it would turn out
    was in the hands of Providence.

Each woman brought with her, her own needle,
    thread, and scissors,
    and we shared what needed to be shared
    of tracing paper, calcium powder,
    and other small accessories that were useful
    to such a project.
Some of the women were near-sighted and had to hold
    the cloth very close to their faces in order to sew.
Others, were the opposite.
Some laughed, and once in a while
    someone broke into singing a song
    from the hymnal that we shared in common
    no matter what churches we attended.
These were the hands that shaped the
    Thirteen Colony American flag.
Made by ordinary women, but ones invested
    with a sense of purpose and discipline
    so that they knew they would remain
    in order to accomplish what they had set out to do.

Unfolding the flag at the end
    and seeing it hoisted onto the wooden pole
    that had stood the test of time
    while being used for other purposes
    was a great joy.
Indeed, in the course of a lifetime
    it is hardly ever given to women to have
    such a great part in their country's future,
And we were very proud to be part of this movement,
    something that we had not expected,
    yet which we all sought with eagerness.

This flag of the thirteen colonies,
    this beautiful drapery sewn together
    with thirteen pairs of hands -
We give it to you who will come after,
    to you who will see what we have begun,
In order that you shall have an emblem
    and symbol of great beauty to follow,
    to represent the truths
    that are most dear to your heart.
We of the past wish you of the future well.
We remain with you in our hearts.

See also The Meaning of the American Flag: A Spiritual History