Friday, June 14th, 2013

Writing Prompt – United States Flag Day

US FLag Day Poster 1917June 14th in the United States is Flag Day, commemorating the day the 2nd Continental Congress adopted the flag. This happened in 1777, though Flag Day wasn’t officially celebrated until 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation.

Congress officially sealed the deal in 1949 by establishing National Flag Day.

Originally, flags were used in military maneuvers for coordination on the battlefield and identifying sides. In environments where other types of communication are hampered, flags have served as basic signalling devices.

Here’s a link to an article on International Maritime Signal Flags.

Today, flags are still used for communication and messaging, but can be seen in advertising or used for decorative purposes.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Create a flag to identify you, or a character in your stories, or a place in your world. Devote some time to thinking about what should be depicted on the flag and what the symbols will stand for. What traits are you, your character or your worlds built on? What ideals?

    Here is a web site devoted to flags and flag symbolism.

  • Flags are often associated with patriotism. Write a poem about patriotism or a patriot.
  • In the US Colonial Era, Patriots were despised by the Loyalists (Tories, or, King’s Men). Write a story or poem from the point of view of someone like a Tory.

Good luck!


Cover of The Dragon's Clause by Kelly A. Harmon depicts a Navy Aircraft Carrier on a moonlit night. Have you read The Dragon’s Clause?
For hundreds of years, San Marino paid tribute to the dragon living beneath their mountain city. But no one alive remembers him. Despite the existence of a contract, the town refuses to pay this year. When the residents renege on the deal, they must face the wrath of the beast.

$2.99 at | $2.99 at Barnes and Noble

Flag Poster from the Library of Congress Collection.

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Writing Prompt – A National Anthem

A cluster of small American Flags.
American patriot Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner on September 14, 1841. Key wrote with emotion, never knowing his poem would one day become the National Anthem of the United States of America.

(It wasn’t officially adopted, in fact, until 1931.)

National Anthems are generally songs of a patriotic nature. They’re primarily set to music in the style of a march, a hymn, or a fanfare. These songs describe the history and traditions of a nation, and are (usually) formally adopted by the government to represent the country.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a “national anthem” of you. Decide if your spirit – your history of you — is a march, a fanfare, or a hymn. Write the words which embody your spirit.
  • Write an essay or a journal entry about the national anthem of your country. What images does it invoke? How do you feel when you hear it played at a ball game? How does it make you feel when you hear it at an Olympic medal ceremony?
  • What does it mean to be patriotic? Make a list of ideas, feelings and phrases which denote patriotism. Use the best of these in a poem.
  • Drop your finger down on a random line in a national anthem (use yours, or choose one from a different country) and free write for 10 minutes about what that image evokes.

Good luck!

Image of American Flags by Lipton Sale. Used by permission under the Creative Commons License.