“…to the flag…”
by John Dewey
I remember as a Cub Scout being instructed on the importance of our national flag. I was taught “Old Glory” is a living breathing extension of the United States. While many pundits would say that it is just a “symbol” and should be treated as such I often wonder how this nation would have evolved less this flag were another “symbol”?
Take, for instance, Francis Scott Keys’ song “The Star Spangled Banner”. Most of us (professional singers, Hollywood types and pop stars excluded) learned the first stanza of his song many years ago and sing it at various events throughout the year. We all know the ending “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” What has always bothered me quite frankly is the question mark. So was Mr. Key questioning our Flag or our resolve as mere symbols of an ideal? Well, once you read the rest of the song, you quickly realize that in the midst of one of the bloodiest, deadliest wars this nation has ever fought; Key’s held our Flag with high respect knowing that it was freedom, democracy, sacrifice and honor.
Many a video has been shown depicting the burning our Flag in effigy denouncing the United States. Many a news reporter and political activist touts that the burning of our Flag represents a mere “symbolic” gesture to America. I often wonder if the same intellects support the use of cultural cleansing. I understand that one could argue that the two are completely different, but respectfully disagree.
Our Flag is a living breathing extension of the United States. It demonstrates a sacrifice by women and men who gave of themselves for others so that we may live free with equality, diversity and the potential for abundance. The ideals our Flag represents attracts foreigners (ok well maybe we do need a fence) from other nations to our soil each year. And while this country is by no means perfect, our Flag represents the ability for our citizens’ to live as free people.
We may want to consider making the final verse of Key’s song as our national anthem. It tells the story of our Flag, our great nation and the sacrifices that were made to give us our freedom. It reads:
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power 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!
God Bless our Flag and our Nation.
John Dewey is a husband, father, son, and brother who enjoys the 500, the Derby, and Colts games. He is also a purveyor of fine bourbons and among the last persons still alive who refer to this blog’s owner by his collegiate nickname.