"Grand Old Flag" as a small poster
Our exclusive design for the 4th, featuring the lyrics from George M. Cohan's "You're a Grand Old Flag," an American patriotic march and a tribute to the U.S. flag.
Size: 11" x 14"
About the paper weight and printing process: Printed on a 10 pt. Cardstock matte using standard inks.
Also available, "Grand Old Flag" in a crewneck shirt for men and women, women's v-neck shirt, postcards, and magnet.
Historic background behind the design
"The song was first publicly performed on February 6, the play's opening night, at Herald Square Theater in New York City. "You're a Grand Old Flag" quickly became the first song from a musical to sell over a million copies of sheet music. The title and first lyric comes from someone Cohan once met; the Library of Congress website notes. "You're a Grand Old Flag", would become one of the most popular American marching-band pieces of all time.
"The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly then turned to Cohan and said, "She's a grand old rag." Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune "You're a Grand Old Rag." So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a "rag," however, that he "gave 'em what they wanted" and switched words, renaming the song "You're a Grand Old Flag".
"In the play itself, the scene with the Civil War soldier was replicated. The soldier's comment was the lead-in to this song. Thus, the first version of the chorus began, "You're a grand old rag / You're a high-flying flag". Despite Cohan's efforts to pull that version, some artists such as Billy Murray had recorded it under its original title, "The Grand Old Rag", in advance of the play's opening, and copies under that title still circulate among collectors. Cohan's second attempt at writing the chorus began, "You're a grand old flag / Though you're torn to a rag". The final version, with its redundant rhyme, is as shown below.
Today, many different arrangements of the song exist. In particular, Paul V. Yoder's arrangement of "You're a Grand Old Flag" is a version commonly used today by the U.S. military in its performances of the song."
Our thanks to Gena Jacobs for the image of the framed small poster.
Design © 2018 Larry Stuart Studio.
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Some large, heavy items may have an additional shipping charge. If that's the case, it will be noted on the product page.
If the actual shipping cost is significantly higher than what we’re charging, we will contact you to discuss alternatives.
All original designs are copyrighted by The History List
All original designs are copyrighted by The History List
All designs are copyrighted by The History List and the History Nerd text and design on t-shirts is a registered trademark. If you see a knock off, please let me know.
Your purchases support our mission to engage people with local history and to support historic sites and history organizations across the country.
This is one of my favorite patriotic songs and nearly impossible to find Grand Old Flag merchandise! The poster is perfect and I thank you for recognizing this song!