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COPYRIGHT BY THE
THE WHITE HOUSE
14 December, 1917
My dear Mr. Grosvenor:
The Flag Number of the National Geographic Magazine is indeed most interesting and most valuable. I sincerely congratulate you on the thoroughness and intelligence with which the work has been done. It consti
tutes a very valuable document indeed.
Cordially and sincerely yours,
Mr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor, Director,
National Geographic Society.
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.
December 3, 1917
My dear Mr. Grosvenor:
I wish to congratulate and thank you for the magnificent Flag Number of the National Geographic Magazine. It had for me a personal as well as a national interest, because during the weeks that Lieutenant Commander Byron McCandless was busy in the preparation of the articles and the flags which adorn the magazine I caught something of the spirit of enthusiasm and patriotism which marked the delightful labor which he brought to the study and preparation of what is truly an historic number. To have given to the people a beautiful Flag Namber at any time would have been in keeping with the educational service which the National Geographio Magazine has long rendered to the American public. To have given this service at this time, when the Flag means more to us than ever before in our history, and when millions of young men are responding cheerfully to its call because of the principles it symbolizes, your flag Number may be truly said to be a contribution to the victory which will be won under the inspiration of the ideals which the Flag embodies.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
December 12, 1917 My dear Mr. Grosvenor:
I am very glad to have the second copy of the Flag Issue of the National Geographic Magazine which you were good enough to send me, the first having already reached me at my home, and I wish to thank you on behalf of my associates in the War department for the Society's generous offer to present a special edition of 5000 copies of the magazine for the use of the men in the Army.
This issue is not only of general interest, as all the issues of the magazine are, but of permanent value for reference, and of particular usefulness to the men in the military service of the United States at this time.
With best wishes and renewed thanks, I am
mmmmmaren Mr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor, Editor, The National Geographic Magazine,
Washington, D. C.
THE FLAG BOOK
LAGS symbolize the noble aspira- could distinguish during primitive battles. tions and glorious achievements of between creatures of his own tribe or
the human race; they epitomize the family and those of enemy tribes. romance of history; they incarnate the peculiar type of club, a splotch of colored chivalry of the ages.
clay on the body of the warrior, and later Their origin is divinity itself; for when, some rude device on his clumsy shield at the beginning of recorded time, Jeho served for a time the purpose of insignia. vah made a covenant with man, prom Eventually these bits of wood, bodily ising that never again would He send the ornamentation, and shield signs were rewaters to cover the face of the earth and placed by the skins of animals attached destroy all flesh, He unfurled the first to poles so that they might be held high flag—the multihued banner of the rain- in the air and recognized at a distance. bow—which He set in the clouds as a From such crude beginnings it is easy to symbol of security and an assurance to trace the evolution of the flags of civilall future generations of His watchful ized man. care.
Today, while it is true that we are And since that day man has, in his thinking of the flags of our own and of finite way, employed his earthly banners other nations in relation to sanguinary as emblems of faith, of hope, and of high strife, these emblems of armies and navies resolve.
have a deep and noble significance far Around the bits of varicolored bunt- removed from their use in leading men ing which the people of each land nom- to battle. In reality flags are the bulinate as a national flag, there cluster warks of idealism. thoughts of loyalty, of patriotism, and of personal sacrifice which have enabled the
AN INSPIRATION TO PERSONAL SACRIFICE world to move forward, from the days The flag epitomizes for an army the when each individual struggled for him- high principles for which it strives in self alone, like other wild animals of plain battle. Were it not for the ideals which and mountain side, until, through com- it keeps ever before the soldier he would munity of interests and unity of effort, be bestialized by slaughter. It keeps mankind has been enabled to rear the men's motives lofty even in mortal comsplendid structure of twentieth century bat, making them forgetful of personal civilization.
gain and of personal revenge, but eager When the savage began to emerge from for personal sacrifice in the cause of the his isolation and took the first steps to country they serve. ward becoming a social creature, profit With full realization of what the stories ing by association and coöperation with of the flags of the world mean, each to fellow human beings, one of his first its own people, and with the belief that needs was a sign or a symbol whereby he Americans will be inspired by under
Note: The pages of the Flag Book are numbered as they appeared in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE (No. 4, Vol. 32).