Among those attending the Memorial Day service in Salina Monday was the author of a beloved patriotic poem that has been memorialized around the world. The poem “I am your Flag” by James M. Fillmore was read at the end of ceremony in Salina.
Unknown to nearly everyone, Fillmore was attending the event in Salina. He told KSAL News that he is in town visiting his daughter.
Fillmore wrote the poem back during the Vietnam era. “It was Flag Day, 1968, and I was writing something for a military paper. I had tried several times and had not come up with anything I liked. On that particular day I thought that I would just let the flag talk, and it just rolled out from there.”
The patriotic poem touched a nerve, and became beloved among Americans across the world. Fillmore says that whenever he hears the poem, or sees it memorialized on a monument or plaque, he still feels a great deal of pride. “Overwhelmed, really. I still have trouble believing that it has gotten the attention it has.”
A plaque with the poem”I am your Flag” is a part of the Saline County War Memorial, appropriately enough located at the pole where the American flag is flown.