Edward Singleton Holden.

Our country's flag and the flags of foreign countries online

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nov iyo/

Copyright, 1898,
By D. APPLE rf home reading by
lectures and round-table discussions, led or conducted
by experts who also lav out the course of reading.
The Chautanquan movement in this country prescribes
a series of excellent books and furnishes for a goodly
number of its readers annual courses of lectures. The
teachers' reading circles that exi>t in many States pre-
scribe the books to be read, and publish some analysis,
commentary, or catechism to aid the members.

Home reading, it seems, furnishes the e>sential
basis of this great movement to extend, education


beyond the school and to make self -culture a habit
of life.

Looking more carefully at the difference between
the two directions of the new education we can see
what each accomplishes. There is first an effort to
train the original powers of the individual and make
him self -active, quick at observation, and free in his
thinking. Xext, the new education endeavors, by the
reading of books and the study of the wisdom of the
race, to make the child or youth a participator in the
results of experience of all mankind.

These two movements may be made antagonistic
by poor teaching. The book knowledge, containing as
it does the precious lesson of human experience, may
be so taught as to bring with it only dead rules of
conduct, only dead scraps of information, and no
stimulant to original thinking. Its contents may be
memorized without being: understood. On the other
hand, the self -activity of the child may be stimulated
at the expense of his social well-being — his originality
may be cultivated at the expense of his rationality.
If he is taught persistently to have his own way, to
trust only his own senses, to cling to his own opinions
heedless of the experience of his fellows, he is pre-
paring for an unsuccessful, misanthropic career, and
is likely enough to end his life in a madhouse.

It is admitted that a too exclusive study of the
knowledge found in books, the knowledge which is
aggregated from the experience and thought of other
people, may result in loading the mind of the pupil
with material which he can not use to advantage.


Some minds are so full of lumber that there is no
space left to set up a workshop. The necessity of
uniting both of these directions of intellectual activity
in the schools is therefore obvious, but we must not,
in this place, fall into the error of supposing that it is
the oral instruction in school and the personal influ-
ence of the teacher alone that excites the pupil to ac-
tivity. Book instruction is not always dry and theo-
retical. The very persons who declaim against the
book, and praise in such strong terms the self -activity
of the pupil and original research, are mostly persons
who have received their practical impulse from read-
ing the writings of educational reformers. Very few
persons have received an impulse from personal con-
tact with inspiring teachers compared with the num-
ber that have been aroused by reading such books as
Herbert Spencer's Treatise on Education, Rousseau's
Smile, Pestalozzi's Leonard and Gertrude, Francis
W. Parker's Talks about Teaching, G. Stanley
Hall's Pedagogical Seminary. Think in this connec-
tion, too, of the impulse to observation in natural sci-
ence produced by such books as those of Hugh Miller,
Faraday, Tyndall, Huxley, Agassiz, and Darwin.

The new scientific book is different from the old.
The old style book of science gave dead results where
the new one gives not only the results, but a minute
account of the method employed in reaching those re-
sults. An insight into the method employed in dis-
covery trains the reader into a naturalist, an historian,
a sociologist. The books of the writers above named
have done more to stimulate original research on the


part of their readers than all other influences com-

It is therefore much more a matter of importance
to get the right kind of book than to get a living
teacher. The book which teaches results, and at the
same time gives in an intelligible manner the steps of
discovery and the methods employed, is a book
which will stimulate the student to repeat the ex-
periments described and get beyond them into fields
of original research himself. Every one remem-
bers the published lectures of Faraday on chemistry,
which exercised a wide influence in changing the
style of books on natural science, causing them to
deal with method more than results, and thus train
the reader's power of conducting original research.
Robinson Crusoe for nearly two hundred years has
aroused the spirit of adventure and prompted young
men to resort to the border lands of civilization. A
library of home reading should contain books that in-
cite to self -activity and arouse the spirit of inquiry.
The books should treat of methods of discovery and
evolution. All nature is unified by the discovery of
the law of evolution. Each and every being in the
world is now explained by the process of development
to which it belongs. Every fact now throws light on
all the others by illustrating the process of growth in
which each has its end and aim.

The Home Reading Books are to be classed as
follows :

First Division. Natural history, including popular
scientific treatises on plants and animals, and also de-


scriptions of geographical localities. The branch of
study in the district school course which corresponds
to this is geography. Travels and sojourns in distant
lands ; special writings which treat of this or that
animal or plant, or family of animals or plants ; any-
thing that relates to organic nature or to meteorol-
ogy, or descriptive astronomy may be placed in this

Second Division. Whatever relates to physics or
natural philosophy, to the statics or dynamics of air or
water or light or electricity, or to the properties of
matter ; whatever relates to chemistry, either organic
or inorganic — books on these subjects belong to the
class that relates to what is inorganic. Even the so-
called organic chemistry relates to the analysis of
organic bodies into their inorganic compounds.

Third Division. History, biography, and ethnol-
ogy. Books relating to the' lives of individuals ; to
the social life of the nation ; to the collisions of na-
tions in war, as well as to the aid that one nation
gives to another through commerce in times of, peace;
books on ethnology relating to the modes of life of
savage or civilized peoples ; on primitive manners
and customs—books on these subjects belong to the
third class, relating particularly to the human will,
not merely the individual will but the social will,
the will of the tribe or nation ; and to this third
class belong also books on ethics and morals, and
on forms of o-overnment and laws, and what is in-
eluded under the term civics, or the duties of citi-


Fourth Division. The fourth class of books in-
cludes more especially literature and works that make
known the beautiful in such departments as sculpture,
painting, architecture and music. Literature and art
show human nature in the form of feelings, emotions,
and aspirations, and they show how these feelings -
lead over to deeds and to clear thoughts. This de-
partment of books is perhaps more important than
any other in our home reading, inasmuch as it teaches
a knowledge of human nature and enables us to un-
derstand the motives that lead our fellow-men to

Plan for Use as Supplementary Reading.

The first work of the child in the school is to
learn to recognize in a printed form the words that
are familiar to him by ear. These words constitute
what is called the colloquial vocabulary. They are
words that he has come to know from having heard
them used by the members of his family and by his
playmates. He uses these words himself with con-
siderable skill, but what he knows by ear he does not
yet know by sight. It will require many weeks,
many months even, of constant effort at reading the
printed page to bring him to the point where the
sight of the written word brings up as much to his
mind as the sound of the spoken word. But patience
and practice will by and by make the printed word
far more suggestive than the spoken word, as every
scholar may testify.

In order to bring about this familiarity with the


printed word it has been found necessary to re-en-
force the reading in the school by supplementary
reading at home. Books of the same grade of diffi-
culty with the reader used in school are to be pro-
vided for the pupil. They must be so interesting
to him that he will read them at home, using his time
before and after school, and even his holidays, for
this purpose.

But this matter of familiarizing the child with the
printed word is only one half of the object aimed at
by the supplementary home reading. He should
read that which interests him. He should read that
which will increase his power in making deeper
studies, and what he reads should tend to correct his
habits of observation. Step by step he should be
initiated into the scientific method. Too many ele-
mentary books fail to teach the scientific method be-
cause they point out in an unsystematic way only
those features of the object which the untutored
senses of the pupil would discover at first glance. It
is not useful to tell the child to observe a piece of
chalk and see that it is white, more or less friable,
and that it makes a mark on a fence or a wall. Sci-
entific observation goes immediately behind the facts
which lie obvious to a superficial investigation.
Above all, it directs attention to such features of the
object as relate it to its environment. It directs at-
tention to the features that have a causal influence in
making the object what it is and in extending its
effects to other objects. Science discovers the recip-
rocal action of objects one upon another.


After the child has learned how to observe what
is essential in one class of objects he is in a measure
fitted to observe for himself all objects that resemble
this class. After he has learned how to observe the
seeds of the milkweed, he is partially prepared to
observe the seeds of the dandelion, the burdock, and
the thistle. After he has learned how to study the
history of his native country, he has acquired some
ability to study the history of England and Scotland
or France or Germany. In the same way the daily
preparation of his reading lesson at school aids him
to read a story of Dickens or Walter Scott.

The teacher of a school will know how to obtain
a small sum to invest in supplementary reading. In
a graded school of four hundred pupils ten books of
each number are sufficient, one set of ten books to be
loaned the first week to the best pupils in one of the
rooms, the next week to the ten pupils next in ability.
On Monday afternoon a discussion should be held
over the topics of interest to the pupils who have
read the book. The pupils who have not yet read
the book will become interested, and await anxiously
their turn for the loan of the desired volume. Another
set of ten books of a higher grade may be used in the
same way in a room containing more advanced pupils.
The older pupils who have left school, and also the
parents, should avail themselves of the opportunity to
read the books brought home from school. Thus is
begun that continuous education by means of the pub-
lic library which is not limited to the school period,
but lasts through life. W. T. Harris.

Washington, D, C, Nov. 16, 1896,


In Part I of this book a history of the
national flag of America is given. It is pre-
sented first because every American child
should, first of all, know how the flag of his
country came to be what it is. Some ac-
count is also given of the various standards
that were set up on the continent of North
America by the early discoverers and ex-
plorers. From the settlements at Jamestown
in Virginia (1607) and at Plymouth in Mas-
sachusetts (1620) until the American Revo-
lution (1775), the flag of England was the
flag of the colonists. The king's colors flew
on forts and ships of war, but the white en-
sign with the red cross of St. George was the
flag of the people.



The protest of the colonists against un-
just rule led to the assumption of liberty-
flags in every colony. In 1775 a flag was
adopted by the colonies to mark their union
for securing, by force if necessary, their
rights as Englishmen. On the 4th of July,
1776, the Declaration of American Inde-
pendence proclaimed "that all political con-
nection between us and the State of Great
Britain is, and ought to be, totally dis-
solved," and a year later the Congress
adopted the flag of thirteen stripes with its
union of thirteen stars — a new constellation
— to symbolize the birth of a new nation.

During the whole history of America,
therefore, our flag has been the flag of a
country, not the personal standard of a king
or of an emperor. It stands, and it has
stood, for us as the symbol of an abstract
idea, not as the sign of the power of any
ruler. It is, and it has been, a national flag,
not a personal standard.

This is by no means the case with the
flags of other and of older nations that have


gone through a different development and
have had a different history. France, for
example, is far older than the United States,
yet the French people had no national flag
until after the revolution of 1789. Before
that time its banners represented the power
of the king. They were personal standards,
not national flags.

The oriflanime of St. Denis was borne
before the armies of France because the
French king had succeeded to the honors of
knight-banneret of the famous Abbey of St.
Denis. It represented the national aspira-
tions in a manner ; but it chiefly symbolized
the belief that the power of God was on the
side of the French monarchs. Ever since
the Crusades, the banner of St. George has
stood for England, not for the power of the
English king.

The idea of nationality has not sprung
up in the world all at once. In the begin-
ning of things an army or a tribe gathered
round a chief, and his personal standard
stood for the power of the army, and the


army was the state. As the state grew
stronger and more complex the chief of the
state became — as in the later years of the
Roman Republic — merely its leading citizen
and soldier; and the emblems of power
grew more and more to represent the maj-
esty of the state itself. The color-bearer of
the Roman legion advanced the eagle-stand-
ard against the enemy in the name of the
Republic and of the commanding general.

Mediaeval Europe was under feudal lords
in whom, once more, the power of their petty
states was concentrated. Their personal
standards once more represented the army
and the state. The religious banners given
by the Church to lords and princes had some-
thing of the character of national banners ;
and the crosses of different colors borne by
the Crusaders (white crosses for the English,
red for the French, etc.), distinguished sol-
diers of different nationalities. But even the
Crusaders owed their first fealty to the ban-
ners of their personal chiefs. Each knight
followed the fortunes of his overlord.


It was not until very recent times that
the idea was born that each nationality
must have its separate flag. The flag of
Germany dates from 1871, that of Italy from
1848; China's flag dates from 1872, Japan's
from 1859.

The American boy who reads this book
must recollect that his flag, like the flag of
England, has always been the flag of a peo-
ple, and that he unconsciously thinks of it
as his flag in a stricter and more personal
sense than if he were a Bavarian or a Prus-
sian lad, whose national flag — the German —
is not yet a generation old. There are cen-
turies of devotion to the symbols of the flag
in our English blood.

A large part of this book is taken up
with the history of the flags of foreign na-
tions — that is, with the history of the symbols
that stand for the hopes, desires, beliefs, and
aspirations of countries other than our own.

A flag is a symbol that stands for all
these things just as the cross stands for
Christianity. How is it that the symbol of


the cross really represents Christianity to
our thoughts, not merely to our eyes ? How
is it that a flag, which is nothing more than
a bit of colored cloth to our touch or to our
sight, really comes to stand for the idea of
our country ?

The answers to such questions as these
are given in Chapter III of this book, and
no boy can read it without gaining new and
far-reaching conceptions of the antiquity, the
universality, and the power of symbols.

Symbols stand close to man and interpret
great ideas to him. They enable his feeble
imagination to maintain a grasp on vast ab-
stractions like the idea of religion, or of
country. Two bits of stick crossed and held
aloft have sustained the fainting heart of
many a Christian martyr in the presence of
the savage beasts of the arena ; and the sight
of his country's flag has nerved the arm of
many a soldier in extremest stress and trial.

A true and complete history of the flags
of the world — of national symbols — would
be nothing less thau a history of the aspira-


tions of men and nations, and of the institu-
tions that they have devised to obtain the
object of their hopes and to preserve intact
what they have conquered. Not even a
sketch of such a history is attempted here.
But it is believed that no American child
can read these chapters without understand-
ing somewhat of these great matters; nor
without acquiring a larger conception of loy-
alty, of patriotism, and of duty.

E. S. H.

Stockbridge, June 17, 1898.




Introduction to the Home Reading Book Series


Author's preface xv

Note for the readers of this book . . . xxv



I. — Flags of England and the American colonies,

1607-1766 1

Flags of the American colonies, 1766-1776 . 19
II. — The flag of the United States of America,

1777-1795 28

The flag of the United States of America,

1795-1818 34

The flag of the United States of America,

1818-1898 35

Official flags 40

The great seal of the United States of

America . 44




National songs of America .

The meaning of the American flag

The man without a country.





III. — Ancient standards and banners — emblems — sym-

IV. — The flags of foreign nations — England — sig-
naling by flags — United States Weather
Bureau signals — salutes — France ... 91
V. — The flags of foreign nations — the flags of
sovereign states (the different countries are
arranged alphabetically for convenient refer-
ence) 139

/ 6 6 3 4-



It has seemed best to divide this little book into two
parts : First, the history of the American flag- ; second,
some account of flags in general, and of the flags of
European nations in particular. The history of the
American flag is printed first, because every American
cbild should know that history first of all. Afterward
he can read the second part of the book, which will tell
him many interesting things about the meaning of flags,
and about their uses on land and sea. Many of the ex-
cellent plates are printed in colors, but not all of them.
A number of those in black and white are drawn so that
they also express the colors in the following way :



V - >':,.i. SK'.'SiJi?




Whenever a surface is left unshaded it stands for white
(the French word for silver is argent). When the sur-
face is covered with little dots it stands for yellow (the
French word for gold is or). When the surface is
shaded with vertical straight lines it stands for red (the
French word corresponding is gules) ; and so on for the
other colors. These French words have become Eng-
lish, and they are to be pronounced exactly as they are
spelled, according to English rules. If you wish to un-
derstand the colors in one of the black and white draw-
ings of this book you should look for the shadings in
the different parts of the banner or flag, and read them
by this color alphabet.






There is little doubt that the adventur-
ous Northmen from Iceland (a province of
Denmark) discovered the
continent of America
long before the first voy-
age of Columbus. We
know but little of their



we may

say, at any rate, that the
discoveries of Columbus,
in 1492 and later, made
America known to the
Old World. It chances
that the flags displayed

Fig. 1. — The standard of
Spain in 1492. The gol-
den castles on the red
fields stand for Castile ;
the red lions on white
fields stand for Leon.


by the Spaniards when Columbus landed
on October 12, 1492, have been described
by his own son. They
were two — the standard
of Spain and the banner
of the expedition. These
were the first European
ilaos, of which we know
anything, that were dis-
played on the continent
of North America.

The many expedi-
tions of discovery in the
years following Colum-
bus, and during the six-
teenth century, brought
other flags to our shores —
English, Spanish, French,
Portuguese, even Venetian. Each discov-
erer planted the flag of his country, or per-
haps the standard of the monarch under
whose patronage his voyage was made.
French, Spanish, Swedish, and Dutch colo-
nies were planted on our shores. Ameri-
cans are most interested in the history of
the English colonies and in the flags of
England and of our own country.

Pig. 2. — The white banner
of the first expedition of
Columbus. The green
cross stands for Christi-
anity (green is the color
of hope) ; the P and Y for
Ferdinand and Ysabel,
the King and Queen of


We are used to think of our country as

one of the youngest in the family of nations,
and it is so. But our flag is by no means
the youngest of national symbols. It was
adopted in 1777 in its present form, and has
remained essentially unchanged since 1818.
Very many of the present flags of the old
countries of Europe are much younger than
ours. The French flat? was established in
1794. The flag of the German Empire dates
from 1871. The flag of Italy was adopted in
1848. Spain's nag, in its present form, is not
older than 1785; Portugal's no older than
1830. The Russian tricolor is quite modern.

COLONIES, 1607-1766.

England claimed for her colonies in North
America all the seacoast from Halifax in
Nova Scotia to Cape Fear (near Wilmington)
in North Carolina, and all the territory west-
ward from this seacoast — that is, as far as

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Online LibraryEdward Singleton HoldenOur country's flag and the flags of foreign countries → online text (page 1 of 9)