Weekly Whitman: “Thick-Sprinkled Bunting”

THICK-SPRINKLED bunting! Flag of stars!
Long yet your road, fateful flag!—long yet your road, and lined with bloody death!
For the prize I see at issue, at last is the world!
All its ships and shores I see, interwoven with your threads, greedy banner!
—Dream’d again the flags of kings, highest born, to flaunt unrival’d?
O hasten, flag of man! O with sure and steady step, passing highest flags of kings,
Walk supreme to the heavens, mighty symbol—run up above them all,
Flag of stars! thick-sprinkled bunting!

“Our Heaven Born Banner,” by William Bauly.

3 Responses to Weekly Whitman: “Thick-Sprinkled Bunting”

  1. Interesting poem, Meg. Two themes that Whitman touches on here that are critically important. First, he talks about the American flag as supplanting the flags of kings. This is a clear signal that our civil war was international in scope and importance; a stern rebuke against aristocratic rulers in Europe who had so recently defeated democratic insurgents. It is a validation also of the republican form of government as consistent with the rights of humankind; again a global perspective on what many present day enthusiasts of the American Civil War see as strictly a sectional conflict within our borders. It was so much more than that as Whitman so eloquently alludes to.

  2. Beautiful poem. Are you able to display Frank Church’s “Banner in the Sky?” I remember it from the Art of the American Civil War exhibit which I saw at the Smithsonian and the NY Met.

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