OCTOBER 30, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I am a little surprised at the fears which seem to assail a certain number of patriotic organizations and women's clubs over the display of the United Nations flag with our own flag. Can our flag become less meaningful to us because the United Nations' flag is displayed in the proper manner at the same time?
I am always thrilled, in driving up to the United Nations building, to see the circle of 60 flags waving in the breeze. It is rather inspiring to know that those flags, in that particular circle on United Nations ground, move one place to the right each day, just as we delegates in the General Assembly move one place in our committee—so that every flag is equal, as is every nation sitting about the United Nations table. I cannot say that it makes me love my own flag any the less to see the United Nations flag displayed at the same time. If my own flag were not properly displayed, then I would feel that that showed ignorance or disrespect; but if it is properly displayed, I can see no reason why the United Nations flag should not be displayed with it. We are one of 60 nations making up the United Nations, and the display of that flag is a reminder to us today that our men are fighting in Korea under this flag for the safety and peace of the world.
Our children should have this drawn to their attention. Our own land and our own flag cannot be replaced by any other land or any other flag. But you can join with other nations, under a joint flag, to accomplish something good for the world that you cannot accomplish alone. It is not possible always to display the U.N. flag appropriately. But since it is difficult to make people aware of their duties and obligations to the U.N., we should be glad to take every opportunity of doing something which will make our children and our adults feel a responsibility toward this organization. The U.N. is our greatest hope for future peace. Alone we cannot keep the peace of the world, but in cooperation with others we may hope to achieve this much longed-for security.
I think it is because people have not fully understood the value of greater knowledge and cooperation that there has been this sudden surge of anxiety about the display of the U.N. flag. I hope our patriotic organizations and our great women's clubs will calmly review their attitude. If possible, I hope they will urge that, on appropriate occasions and as often as possible, young and old be called to greater understanding of the U.N. and tangible proof, through the display of the flag, of our support and cooperation.
I have just received a gift that I look forward to enjoying when I again have some leisure hours. This gift is the latest publication of nine books, intended primarily for teenagers, in the Winston Company's "Land of the Free" series. The idea is to tell the stories of young pioneers who came to our land from so many other countries, and to show how their spirit made this the land of the free. It ties up the Old World contribution with the growth and development of America. Those of us of Dutch ancestry, for example, can read about the Dutch and seek out all the other strains that make the United States of today, finding something in each to thrill us. There are the Pennsylvania Germans, the Norwegians in Wisconsin, the Spaniards in New Mexico, and many more. Teenagers will enjoy these stories, but we older people may find something of value in them too.