On Flag Day, a poem from Walt Whitman’s “Drum Taps” section of Leaves of Grass, a group of poems that focus on his observations and emotional reactions after visiting the battlefront during the Civil War:
Delicate cluster! flag of teeming life!
Covering all my lands—all my seashores lining!
Flag of death! (how I watch’d you through the smoke of battle pressing!
How I heard you flap and rustle, cloth defiant!)
Flag cerulean—sunny flag, with the orbs of night dappled!
Ah my silvery beauty—ah my woolly white and crimson!
Ah to sing the song of you, my matron mighty!
My sacred one, my mother.