06) What About All These American Flags? - Randall Franks
What About All These American Flags?

Songwriter: Randall Franks
Publisher: Peach Picked Publishing/BMI

Robbie was a precocious boy. He was little more than four. He bolted into the attic as his grandpa opened the door.

They were on a mission to find some odds and ends.
For a church sale to help some folks touched by warring men.

On a metal shelf Robbie spied a pair of roller skates bright red. He pulled them down and showed them. “Would these work?” he said.

Yes, those are fine. I’m sure they will bring quite a lot. Grandpa took them from his hand and placed them in a wood slate box.

Beneath a worn out flannel shirt Grandpa found a boyhood treasure. “Here’s my old glove, Babe Ruth signed, as a boy it brought so much pleasure.”

“You got a candy bar to sign your glove?,” Robbie said with glee. Babe Ruth was a baseball giant. He signed it when I was three.

In the corner on an old roll top desk sat a polished mahogany box. It had glass on every side and a hinge which opened on top.

Inside it were eight flags folded and laid side by side. “What about all these flags?,” Robbie said. “Would they be good to try?”

Grandpa approached the box and sat down. It seemed he almost fell. As he pulled the case close to him this story he began to tell.

These flags are worth so much more than money could ever buy. Each one stands for a fallen soul. Then he stopped to sigh.

For each flag thousands paid the cost for you and I to be free. He stopped and beckoned Bobby to hop upon his knee.

This one with 13 stars circled on a field of blue.
Thirteen stripes of red and white with Washington at Valley Forge it flew.

These two wrapped together represent brothers who were bold. One for North, one for South, they fought at Chickamauga, I was told.

Neither one came home to mom, she wrapped them this way still. To keep her boy’s memory intertwined for she felt it was God’s will.

German bullets made these holes in the Argonne Forest in World War I.This flag that is almost gone came from Pearl Harbor in forty one.

This stain of red is from Korea and all these from Vietnam. These bits of sand are from Kuwait in 1991 and these latest two from Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, you see my boy you cannot sell these flags, their price is paid in full. With tears, blood and bravery and prayers of countless souls.

The freedom that we know today comes from these people’s songs. So, we must keep these flags and remember each and every one.

Grandpa gently closed the case after Robbie touched each one. As he watched him place it back the box seemed to weigh a ton.

As they returned to their search, Bobby turned to say, “Grandpa, can I have a flag like one of these someday?”

As a tear rolled upon Grandpa’s cheek, which Robbie could not see. Grandpa wiped it away and picked him up ever so gently.

“We’ll get you one, but not like these, to fly above your head. I pray you never sleep with a flag like these draped across your wooden bed.”

© 2001 Randall Franks /Peach Picked Pub./BMI