This Flag We Fly

by Karl Hitzemann

"This Flag We Fly" is a stirring, patriotic piece that evokes the pride and honor we have for our flag and country. While it would work great as a song for Flag Day or a flag ceremony, it could also be used for just about any patriotic-type event, or as a dramatic moment in any concert.

This song has the option of starting and ending with a soloist (Grace Morgan is the soloist on the recording). It's a really nice way to build the piece at the beginning and bring it to a peaceful close. Of course, this is optional, as is part 2 which enters the second time at measure 21. This can be sung by older students, or even teachers, other adults, etc. It really adds a nice richness to the song if you can use it. To help you teach part 2, we have isolated it and put it on our web site.

If you want to do a bit of staging for a performance, have one or two (or more) of your singers holding American flags as the song is being sung. The flag should start out at the holder's eye level. At measure 20 (where the lyrics say "so raise it high") the flag holders could raise their arms high, thus raising the flag high above their heads. When the lyrics next say "fly it proud" at measure 22, have them wave the flag back and forth in tandem. When they sing "it's for our brave" in measure 30, the singers could then slowly lower the flag back to where they started (eye level). The singers who aren't holding flags could have their right hands on their hearts while singing.

The accompaniment for this song features a full orchestra accented by a beautiful solo trumpet line, a powerful piano part, and a few cool electric guitar riffs. It really adds to the emotion of the song.

There is definitely a cross curricular opportunity here. Be sure to let your social studies teacher know you're doing this song and that it would be a great way to introduce a unit on the American flag – how it came about, why it's called "Old Glory," proper flag etiquette, and so on.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.