This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
THE presentation speech should be short. It may allude to the work that the individual has accomplished, by which he or she is entitled to the gift. It may appropriately speak of the high regard in which the recipient is held by the donors of the gift, and it may bespeak a delightful, prosperous future for the person addressed, besides being brimful of good wishes; but the speech should come early to the point and close.
In the meantime it may be well for the managers of the affair to have some one besides the recipient of the gift appointed to make an appropriate response, unless he or she is thoroughly capable of making a suitable reply. In most cases it is a relief to the recipient to be informed of the intended presentation, as he or she, in that case, can make a response that will be more satisfactory than if taken by surprise and without time for preparation. As a rule, the article should be concealed from view until it is spoken of in the presentation, when it will create renewed interest. Presentation of a Flag by a Lady
To a volunteer company of the state miliila, the flag being held by a gentleman while the lady mases the address.
Captain Arthur Benson and Members of Company H of the First Regiment of the New York Volunteer Militia - Gentlemen: In recognition of the public spirit, the patriotism and the bravery that move you to form an organization for the protection of your homes and your country, should you be called upon to tight in their defense, it becomes my duty, in behalf of the ladies of this town, to present you a silken flag.
This emblem of our nationality has been fashioned into these stars and stripes, has been trimmed and embellished as you see it here, by hands that will never tire of working for you. As you look upon its silken folds you may understand that it is the grand emblem of our country's greatness, and it is more. It is the bearer of the hope and love of the donors who present it - whose hearts will go with you to the end, should fate determine that it shall be carried into the battlefield.
Our hope is that it may never do other duty than rustle peacefully above your heads, a silent token of our respect and regard, but should necessity require, we are confident that in brave hands it will lead to success, and in the hours of trial will be wherever it shall wave the signal of victory. Into your hands we now place it. God grant that the need of trailing it in blood may never arise, but should duty or your country call, we know it will wave over the heads of brave men - we know you will do it honor.
Lady Presenting a Flag.
Miss Chandler: Responding, in behalf of my company, to the sentiments you express, I but speak the words which my comrades would utter, when I say that we deeply feel and most highly appreciate this appropriate and beautiful gift which we receive at your hands.
If it shall be our mission to unfurl it only when peace and harmony shall prevail, it will be well. Should it be our fate to go forth in defense of home and loved friends, we shall carry it as a token of the love, the respect and the solicitude we bear for those who remember us thus kindly.
The sight of this will ever nerve our men to greater bravery - it will be an inspiration. We thank you for this offering, and for the sentiment that comes with its presentation.
We shall carry it fearlessly in peace and in war; and throughout the length and breadth of this country we propose it shall wave over States ever loyal and true to the government - we resolve that it shall ever be the emblem of a nation that shall never be dismembered or disunited. Again tendering you our high regard for this testimonial, our color-bearer will now receive it, while the band will express our heartfelt appreciation of your gift as they render the "Star-Spangled Banner."