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that it meant when Lincoln was waving it and freeing black slaves I don't
think it would mean the same thing floating over the beef trust's stockyards
in Chicago that it means in the hands of William J. Bryan as a champion
of human rights.
At one time I was a patriotic Ohioan, but I couldn't figure out why a
man who lived in Ohio-was any better than one who lived in Illinois or In
diana. And I got to Judging men by what they were rather than by where
I UBed to think an American, meaning a citizen of the United States,
was better than any other man on earth outside of our national boundaries,
but I find that the humane men who live In other countries are better men
than the brutes who live in our country, just as the humane men in our
country are better than the brutes in other countries.
So gradually those lines we used to see on the maps in school
geographies faded from view. It is hard to see them any more.
I remember sailing on Lake Erie one summer, near the imaginary line
between the United States and Canada. But I couldn't see the line. I
didn't know when I was in our country or when I was in Canada. I couldn't
tell American fish from Canadian fish, and there appeared to be no change
in the character of the wind as it blew over the imaginary line. It wasn't
American wind or Canadian wind. It was just wind. And the fish were
merely fish. Nor was there any break in the waves as they crossed the line.
And, after all, the Canadians were people and the Americans were peo
ple. The difference was imaginary, like that boundary line.
If I were cold and hungry on a winter's night a Canadian might take
me into his warm home and feed me and an American might slam the door
in my face. Geography or patriotism wouldn't have anything to do with it.
My reception would depend altogether on the kind of human being the man
happened to be, no matter where he lived or what flag waved over him.
Of course, there Is in the heart of every man a love of home; and he
win fight to protect his home. That is a natural instinct. But the animals
have that instinct, and they don't know the difference between flags.
But patriotism doesn't always mean love of home, or the protection of
one's country. Quite often men have followed their country's flag away
from, home for no nobler purpose than to conquer some other country and
capture violently the homes of other people.
So it has been convenient to the selfish purposes of kings and other
rulers to teach their subjects from childhood that they must fight'for their
country right or wrong. And that was supposed to be patriotism. That's
the kind of patriotism I don't understand.
I like real Christianity better. Patriotism means armies', navies,
guns, swords, cannon, bayonets, bullets, wounded, dying, dead, widows,
orphans, taxation, suffering, misery.
Christianity means the brotherhood of man a patriotism that is as
wide and as round as the world. It has no geography and makes the hearts
of all humanity sing the same song, no matter what confusion there may be
That kind Of world patriotism would bring the parts of the. earth, the
nations, together as harmoniously as the states in this unioij. And as the
states of our union have one flag, so ultimately must the nations of the
world have one patriotism, one flag, one brotherhood.
That means the United States of the World the brotherhood of man.
It is coming, too. Not through the treaties and bargains of kings and
rulers, but through -the- growing -understanding-of theplain-neoplevery