Skip to:Content
Cover image for The flag we love
The flag we love


Publication Information:
Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge Publishing, c1996.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm.
Added Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 929.92 RYA 1 1
Book J 929.92 RYA 1 1
Book J 929.92 RYA 1 1

On Order



This spirited tribute to Old Glory will inspire readers, young and old, to take a new look at the greatest emblem of the United States of America. With patriotic verse and historical facts, THE FLAG WE LOVE explores how our flag has become an enduring part of our nation's proud history and heritage. From its earliest designs to its role in peace-time and war, the Star-Spangled Banner will take on a whole new meaning for all readers.
The bold, rich illustrations by Ralph Masiello highlight significant points in history, as well as commonplace moments of American life, when our flag symbolizes the people and ideals of the United States of America.

Author Notes

Author Pam Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and a M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher and as an early childhood program administrator. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books.

She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. When Marian Sang, a picture book about singer Marian Anderson, won numerous awards including the ALA Sibert Honor and NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. In 2015 her title Echo made The New York Times Best Seller List. She also won a Kirkus Prize in the children's literature category with her title 'Echo'.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-6‘A poetical history of the U.S. flag. Each double-page spread features a four-line, rhymed verse of mediocre quality and a box of well- and little-known trivia on the left, and a full-page painting on the right. The stronger illustrations include such moving scenes as the train carrying Lincoln's coffin, the Vietnam War Memorial, and an astronaut walking on the moon with a U.S. flag reflected in his visor. Other pictures are less effective‘the ill-proportioned, misshapen hands on several figures are distracting. Overall, however, the bold, detailed paintings in muted colors help to emphasize the patriotic theme. An additional purchase.‘Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Strike up the band and prepare to salute-this patriotic picture book unabashedly celebrates the Stars and Stripes. In a series of earnest verses, Ryan (One Hundred Is a Family) introduces young readers to our national symbol and the ideals for which it stands ("Americans stand together/ Before ceremonies start/ And promise their allegiance/ With their hands across their hearts"), while prose insets offer historical tidbits in a sidebar format. The book's clean, airy layout contrasts with Masiello's (The Extinct Alphabet Book) intense, sometimes murkily-hued oil paintings, which echo Ryan's text in their solemnity and fervor. Nonetheless, the result should delight Yankee Doodle dandies everywhere, and could help spark discussion on the basic elements of democracy. All ages. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

The series of vague, corny images presented in rhyming verse do little to enhance understanding of the origins and meaning of the American flag. Along with the accompanying paintings, information boxes on each page of text flesh out the poem, addressing topics from the history of the Pledge of Allegiance to the placing of the American flag on the moon; yet there is no coherent narrative tying the vignettes together. From HORN BOOK 1996, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

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+)

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. In this tribute to the American flag, each right-hand page of the book is filled with a colorful painting, while the facing page contains a smaller picture, a four-line verse, and several facts about the flag. For instance, one spread reads: "A teacher raises a radiant flag / To let the children know / The schoolyard is a place to come / for the chance to learn and grow." The large illustration depicts flag-raising at a log schoolhouse. Other topics include the making of the country's first flag and the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner" as well as the flying of the flag on Lincoln's funeral train, at the Olympics, at ports of entry to the U.S., and on the moon. There's no hint of controversy here, just a bit of flag waving to celebrate the history of the Stars and Stripes. Although both verse and illustration seem awkward at times, libraries with a demand for the subject at this grade level will find this a useful resource. Carolyn Phelan

Go to:Top of Page