“Yes,” continued Doctor Joe, “I want you to be as proud of it as I am that I’m a citizen of the United States, and I’m so proud of it I wouldn’t change for any other country in the world. When I reached St. John’s and saw the American flag flying over the office of the United States Consulate, my eyes filled with tears. I hadn’t seen that old flag for years, and I stood in the street for an hour doing nothing but look at it and think of all it represents. It makes my blood tingle just to touch it. You chaps must feel the same toward the British flag, for that’s your flag.
“Now let me show you how the flag is made up,” and Doctor Joe proceeded to trace St. George’s Cross and St. Andrew’s Cross, explaining them again as he did so. “In the year 1801 another banner was added. This was the Banner of St. Patrick of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Cross was a red diagonal cross on a white field, and here you see it.”
Doctor Joe traced it on the flag.
“There,” he went on, “you have the British flag complete. No one knows exactly why it is called the ‘Jack,’ but it may have been because in the old days, the English knights, when they went out to fight their battles, wore a jacket over their armour with the St. George’s Cross upon it, so it would be known to what nation they belonged. This jacket was sometimes called a ‘jack’ for short.
“The Union Jack did not become a complete flag as we have it to-day until the year 1801, when St. Patrick’s Cross was added to it. The Stars and Stripes, the flag of my country, was first made in 1776, and on June 14, 1777, it was adopted by the United States Congress as the national emblem, so you see it is even older than the British flag. The flags of all nations in the world have changed since 1777 excepting only the United States flag, and every American is proud of the fact that his flag is older than the flag of any other Christian nation in the world.”
The boys, and Thomas and Margaret also, were fascinated with Doctor Joe’s brief story of the flags. They were quite excited with the thought that they were to be a part of the great army of Boy Scouts, and to do the same things that other boys in far-away lands were doing, and the other boys that they had never seen seemed suddenly very much nearer to them and more like themselves than they had ever seemed before.
The three buried their noses in the handbook, now and again asking Doctor Joe questions. They were so excited and so interested, indeed, that they could scarcely lay the books aside when Thomas announced that it was time to “turn in,” and Andy declared he could hardly wait for morning when they could be at them again.
And so it came about that Troop I, Boy Scouts of The Labrador, was organized, and in the nature of things the troop was destined to meet many adventures and unusual experiences.