1.1 Patterns and repetition. The poem has a
very simple form, five short stanzas. Each
starts with a question, followed by an
1.2 In the first four stanzas the answer always
begins in the same way, making the reader
think again and again about what the ‘piece of
cloth’ is and the influence it has.
1.3 The pattern is broken in the final stanza, giving it
1.4 The second line of the first four stanzas is always the
same, with the emphasis particularly on ‘just’… the word
which survives into the final stanza to suggest the
dangerous ease with which the flag can be claimed.
2.1 The flag is given almost magical power: it can control
men, and ‘will outlive’ them.
3 Rhyme Scheme
3.1 Reinforces the stanza pattern.
3.2 It changes in the final stanza,
from aba to abb, highlighting the