The workers' flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead;
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their life-blood dyed its every fold.
Then raise the scarlet standard high;
Beneath its folds we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.
Look 'round, the Frenchman loves its blaze
The sturdy German chants its praise;
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung,
Chicago swells its surging song.
It waved above our infant might
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We will not change its color now.
It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place;
To cringe beneath the rich man's frown,
And haul our sacred emblem down.
With heads uncovered swear we all,
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.
The Red Flag was written in 1889 by Jim Connell,
an old Fenian, during a train journey
between Charing Cross and New Cross Gate.