Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • Where is the Flag of England?

    From The Birmingham Age Herald, March 22, 1915. By James E. Coyle.

    Let the winds of the world make answer!
        North, south, and east and west;
    “Wherever there’s wealth to covet,
        Or land that can be possessed;
    Wherever are savage races
        To cozen, coerce and scare,
    Ye shall find the vaunted ensign:
        For the English flag is there!

    Aye, it waves o’er the blazing hovels
        Whence African victims fly,
    To be shot by explosive bullets,
        Or to wretchedly starve and die;
    And where the beachcomber harries
        The isles of the Southern sea,
    At the peak of his hellish vessels,
        ’Tis the English flag flies free.

    The Maori full oft have cursed it
        With his bitterest dying breath;
    And the Arab has hissed his hatred
        As he spits at its folds in death.
    The hapless fellah has feared it
        On Tel-el-Kebir’s parched plain,
    And the Zulu’s blood has stained it
        With a deep indelible stain.

    It has floated o’er scenes of pillage
        And has flaunted o’er deeds of shame;
    It has waved o’er the fell marauder
        As he ravished with sword and flame;
    It has looked upon ruthless slaughter,
        And massacres dire and grim;
    It has heard the shrieks of the victims
        Drown even the Jingo hymn.

    Where is the flag of England?
        Seek the lands where the natives rot;
    Where decay and assured extinction
        Must soon be the peoples’ lot.
    Go, search for the once glad islands,
        Where diseases and death are rife,
    And the greed of a callous commerce
        Now fattens on human life!

    Where is the flag of England?
        Go, sail where rich galleons come
    With shoddy and “loaded” cottons,
        And beer, and Bibles and rum!
    Go too, where brute force has triumphed,
        And hypocrisy makes its lair;
    And your question will find its answer,
        For the flag of England is there.