Works which endure come from the soul of the people. The mighty in their pride walk alone to destruction. The humble walk hand in hand with Providence to immortality. Their works survive. When the people of the Colonies were defending their liberties against the might of kings, they chose their banner from the design set in the firmament through all eternity. The flags of the great empires of that day are gone, but the Stars and Stripes remain. It pictures the vision of a people whose eyes were turned to the rising dawn. It represents the hope of a father for his posterity. It was never flaunted for the glory of royalty, but to be born under it is to be a child of a king, and to establish a home under it is to be the founder of a royal house. Alone of all flags it expresses the sovereignty of the people which endures when all else passes away. Speaking with their voice it has the sanctity of revelation. He who lives under it and is loyal to it is loyal to truth and justice everywhere. He who lives under it and is disloyal to it is a traitor to the human race everywhere. What could be saved if the flag of the American Nation were to perish?
In recognition of these truths and out of a desire born of a purpose to defend and perpetuate them, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has by ordinance decreed that for one day of each year their importance should be dwelt upon and remembered. Therefore, in accordance with that authority, the anniversary of the adoption of the national flag, the 14th day of June next, is set apart as
and it is earnestly recommended that it be observed by the people of the Commonwealth by the display of the flag of our country and in all ways that may testify to their loyalty and perpetuate its glory.
AMHERST COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT
JUNE 18, 1919
To the son of any college, although he does not make his connection with his college a profession, a return of Commencement Day recalls many memories. It is likely also, after nearly a quarter of a century, to cause some reflections. It is, I suppose, to give tongue to such memories and reflections that after-dinner speaking is provided. After all due allowance for change of perspective, going to college was a greater event twenty-five years ago than it is to-day. My own memories are not yet ancient enough to warrant their recalling. The greater events of that day are too recent to need to be related.