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  • What we're looking at now.

What we're looking at now.

I am whatever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become. I live a changing life, a life of moods and passions, of heartbreaks and tired muscles. Sometimes I am strong with pride, when men do an honest work, fitting the rails together truly. Sometimes I droop, for then purpose has gone from me, and cynically I play the coward. Sometimes I am loud, garish and full of ego that blasts judgement. But always, I am all that you hope to be, and have the courage to try for. I am song and fear, struggle and panic, and ennobling hope. I am the day's work of the weakest man and the largest dream of the most daring. I am the Constitution and the courts, statutes and state-maker, soldier and dreadnaught, drayman and sweep, cook, counselor and clerk. I am the battle of yesterday and the mistake of tomorrow. I am the mystery of the men who do without knowing why. I am the clutch of an idea and the reasoned purpose of resolution. I am no more than what you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be. I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing which makes this nation. My stars and my stripes are your dreams and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out of your hearts; for you are the makers of the Flag, and it is well that you glory in the making. - Excerpt from Secretary Franklin Lane’s 1914 address entitled “The Flag Maker” in which he relayed a conversation he had with the American flag in his office.