The Ragged Old Flag

We just celebrated the 237th anniversary of thousands of lives given in sacrifice to a young America just so we have the privilege of pledging our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  

Shame on anyone in the United States who has lost that patriotic spark when the fireworks go off, the lump in the throat when we sing "Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o're the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?  The rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that Star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

No one knows the second verse of that song, but in it we find our nation's motto in the very words of the second verse. Those words come from scripture, Psalm 20:7 "Some trust in chariots and ... horses, be we trust in God."

O thus be it ever, wen free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall
Wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Francis Scott Key wrote the words 1779-1834
Old Ragged Flag (Johnny Cash) is another tribute to our national symbol. I know he won't mind that I share the words with you...

I walked through a county courthouse square, On a park bench, an old man was sittin there. I said, "Your court house is kinda run down, He said, "No, it will do for our little town". I said "your old flag pole kinda leaned a little bit, And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it". He said "have a seat", so I sat down, He said, "is this your first visit to our little town" I said, "I think it is" He said "I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of "That Ragged Old Flag"

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there, When Washington took it across the Delaware. It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it, writing "Oh Say Can You See" It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson tugging at its seams. It almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, But she waved on tho. It got cut with a sword in Chancellorsville, Got cut again at Shiloh Hill. There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg, And the south wind blew hard on "That Ragged Old Flag"

On Flanders Field in World War I, She took a bad hit from a Bertha Gun, She turned blood red in World War II She hung limp and low by the time that one was through, She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam. The Native Americans, The Black, Yellow and White All shed red blood for the Stars and Stripes.

And here in her own good land, She’s been abused, burned, dishonored, denied and refused, And the very government for which she stands Has been scandalized throughout out the land. And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearing kinda thin, But she’s in pretty good shape, for the shape she’s in. Cause she’s been through the fire before And she can take a whole lot more. So we raise her up every morning And we bring her down slow every night, We don’t let her touch the ground, And we fold her up right. On second thought I do like to brag Cause I’m mighty proud of That Old Ragged Flag.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

In memoriam of all who died under this flag for our country and for our freedom. In deeply felt thanks to those who have sacrificed so much for us as we sleep peacefully each night, feeling safe and secure from all alarms. 

Thank you for standing between us and the bad guys.
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