English Literature - Poems - Flag


Flag - John Agard - Quotes

  • "It's just a piece of cloth" - (repeated) - The adjective "just" diminishes the flag, showing that the poet views a flag as something with far too much meaning for what it is. It shows that Agard believes that people put too much faith and loyalty into what he regards as "just a piece of cloth".
  • "brings a nation to its knees" - This may resemble how such patriotism and loyalty to the flag can cause a country's downfall. Soldiers go to war for the sake of their country yet are brought to their knees because of such blind patriotism.
  • "makes the guts of men grow bold" - States that a flag is something that brings courage. This perhaps implies that it provokes men to follow their "guts" as opposed to their heads which may indicate that the poet feels as though fighting for the flag is a somewhat unintelligent thing to do and that it is not reason enough to justify going to war.
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Flag - John Agard - Quotes

  • "dares a coward to relent" - Agard states that those who may normally be fearful of something are able to "relent" their cowardice when faced with the flag that they fight for. 
  • "blind your conscience to the end" - The poet implies that people would do anything for their country/flag, regardless of their morals. Patriotism and loyalty to the flag can cause you to abandon your morals and, as implied by "to the end", lead you to your death.
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