By G. P. Avants
Charlie Brown & Linus are in school. The teacher, Ms. Othmar, asks students to stand for the flag salute. A number of students won’t. Linus feels compelled the give his class a little American history.
Ms. Othmar: Waa, waaaa, Waa, wa. Waaaaa.
(There is a rustle in the classroom)
Charlie Brown: Linus, how come we are the only two students standing for the flag student?
Linus: Well, Charlie Brown, first it was people forgetting the meaning of Christmas, now it’s American History.
Charlie Brown: (He mumbles out the corner of his mouth) Good grief, I feel a little funny standing here, looking like a blockhead….as usual.
Ms Othmar: Waaaa?Waaaaa? Waaaaa?
Linus: Ms. Othmar?
Ms. Othmar: Waa?
Charlie Brown: (turns red and gulps) Afraid. A-F-R-A-I-D. Afraid.
Linus: What Charlie Brown is trying to spell, I mean say is that I think some of our students are afraid to say the flag salute.
Ms. Othmar: Wa Waaa.
Linus: Sure, I don’t mind.
Charlie Brown: Linus?
Ms. Othmar: Wa Waa Waa.
Charlie Brown: Staring. S-T-A-R-I-N-G. Staring. Giggling. G-I-G….
Linus: (Linus cuts him off) Good morning, everyone. Have you ever noticed the colors and the design on the American flag? Even though it looks like a simple flag, it speaks to us still today.
Charlie Brown: Hey, do you hear a toy piano playing or is it just in my head?
Linus: We all know there are fifty stars on the flag.
Charlie Brown: One for each state, right?
Linus: Yes, but do you know why they are on a blue field?
Ms. Othmar: Wa wa wa?
Linus: Unity, correct. All the states are individuals, but they chose to work together as one. Is the sky a patchwork of pieces or one big piece.
Charlie Brown: One, one piece.
Ms. Othmar: Wa wa, Wa Waa Wa.
Charlie Brown: (Grins sheepishly) Thank you, Ms. Othmar.
Linus: If you notice there are 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies and the first states.
Charlie Brown: Esssh, (He mumbles) isn’t 13 an unlucky number?
Linus: If it was then the early colonists turned it into something special. The white stripes represent purity, right alongside the red stripes that symbolize courage.
Ms.Othmar: Wawaaa, waaa Waaaa Waaaa, Waa Waaa Waa Waaaa.
Charlie Brown: (Gulps) That’s right, people gave their lives to win our freedom. That makes a lot of sense that red stripes are like shed blood.
Linus: Hey, Charlie Brown, you made me think those stripes are like suffering being turned into a badge of honor. When we see them we should feel sad, happy, wonder, and never forget what our country is worth.
Charlie Brown: I…forget how good we have it here.
Linus: Did you know that most of the sixty-five signers of the Declaration of Independence were wealthy men who had a lot to lose when they chose to sign that document. Most of them lost everything they had or even their families, even some their lives to see America become a nation.
Charlie Brown: Good grief. (he swallows hard)
Linus: So true, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown: What?
Linus: Our founding fathers and the first Americans turned their grief into good.
Charlie Brown: (He looks confused.) I don’t understand.
Linus: In the words of Charlie Brown, Good grief.
There is a moving of chairs as one/by-one most of the students stand and put their hands on their hearts.
Charlie Brown: (Whispers): Most of the class is standing.
Ms. Othmar: Wa Was?
Linus: Yes, Ms. Othmar?
Ms. Othmar: Waaaa Waa Waaa Wa Waa Waa Waaaa?
Linus: Sure, I would be honored. (He clears his throat) Right hand on heart. Ready begin. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. One nation, under God. With liberty and Justice for all.
Charlie Brown: Play ball. ( He giggles)
Ms. Othmar: Wa Wa?
Linus: I totally agree.