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THE FLAG WE LOVE by Pam Muñoz Ryan


by Pam Muñoz Ryan & illustrated by Ralph Masiello

Age Range: 6 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-88106-845-4
Publisher: Charlesbridge

 Parallel texts (celebratory verse above, boxed historical information below) and burnished oil paintings combine in this paean to the American flag. The awkward verse (``The many connotations/For which our banner stands/Reflect our country's best intentions/And the people of this land'') adds little to the effort, and although the boxed text correctly states that no one knows who made the very first Stars and Stripes, both poem and illustration (which shows the needlework of a lefthanded seamstress) tend to perpetuate the Betsy Ross legend. Another oddity: In the spread depicting the use of the flag at sporting events, the athlete shown is almost certainly Jesse Owens, yet his name and the significance of his Olympic victory are not mentioned. The book is chiefly interesting for its depiction of the many ways in which the flag is used, e.g., to denote government buildings and official ports of entry, to mark the visits of explorers to remote regions, to memorialize fallen heroes, and to symbolize solidarity in parades and protest marches. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6+)