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[394]

XXI. talking flags and Torches.

Ho! my comrades, see the signal
Waving through the sky;
Re-enforcements now appearing,
Victory is nigh.

Yes, there were flags in the army which talked for the soldiers, and I cannot furnish a more entertaining chapter than one which will describe how they did it, when they did it, and what they did it for. True, of the flags used in the service told stories of their own. What more eloquent than “Old glory,” with its thirteen stripes, reminding us of our small beginning as a nation, its blue field, originally occupied by the cross of the English flag when Washington first gave it to the breeze in Cambridge, but replaced later by a cluster of stars, which keep a tally of the number of States in the Union! What wealth of history its subsequent career as the national emblem suggests, making it almost vocal with speech! The corps, division, and brigade flags, too, told a little story of their own, in a manner already described. But there were other flags, whose sole business it was to talk to one another, and the stories they told were immediately written down for the benefit of the

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