The year was 1944, and I was 21
A million miles from California, carrying a gun
My country sent me overseas to battle the Big Red
I found myself in Burma with a helmet on my head

The countryside near Sittaung is serene and peaceful ground
Where towering teak trees touch the sky and bamboo shoots abound
But on this day in '44, the sky was filled with fumes
The landscape stained with mothers' sons in bare, unearthly tombs

The victory was ours that day, I scanned the start terrain
A flash of color caught my eye across this fruitless plain
I knelt to find a piece of cloth beneath a fallen gun
I took it as a souvenir, as if I'd ever need one

The Allied Force prevailed and the war was winding down
And still I had the souvenir I'd picked up off the ground
The cloth turned out to be flag, a silken rising sun
I took it home to California when my tour was done

I showed the flag to friends and family, proof of how I'd served
I justified the Japanese had got what they deserved
But every time I took it out I felt a pang of guilt
I thought of someone’s growing boy, who'd grown up to be killed

I found out that the flag was made by someone's loving hand
To wish a strong and young soul well in Godforsaken lands
I found a name and wondered if that's all that did survive
And now Koju Muramatsu, I've found out that you're alive

I can't express the flood of thoughts that rivet through my head
For forty years I thought the soldier of the flag was dead
And now I've found out differently, I can't tell you how I feel
Today a souvenir of war became someone so real

Though common threads that bind us all afford the greatest cost
Regretfulness in retrospect won't make up for those lost
I hope this finds you well and strong, I pray you comprehend
That somewhere in this twist of time there's a newly humbled man

Your Rising Sun is shining bright in shimmering array
Your flag of hope, and love, and light

Returns to you this day

Lyrics submitted by bananahero

Flag of Hope song meanings
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