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Oh Say Can You See by the Dawn's Early Light....Our National Anthem, Worthy of Our Respect at All Times, in All Places!
Long May She Wave.....
One Flag, Representative of One Nation, under God, goes by many names; The Red White and Blue, The Stars and Stripes, Grand Old Flag, the Great Garrison flag, the Star Spangled Banner and one of my personal favorites, Old Glory.
"Old Glory", so named by an Oregon boat Captain in the early 1800s.
I've also referred to Our Flag as the Resilient One!
Early on in America's History, many flags were flown, many flags were taken into battle, but one flag; one very special flag, needed to be chosen to Represent the Miracle of.....The United States of America!
On June 14th, 1777, the Continental Congress declared, "the Flag of the Thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be Thirteen Stars, white in a blue field, Representing a new Constellation."
The Stars and Stripes was commissioned.
Red, White and Blue would be her colors!
The Continental Congress did not give an explanation of the colors chosen, but with the design of the Great Seal, five years later, utilizing the same colors, came an explanation:
- RED Represents Hardiness and Courage
- WHITE Represents Purity and Innocence
- BLUE Represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice
Claims were made in 1870 by the grandson of Betsy Ross. He stated that she was responsible for making the very first American flag and based the claim on sworn statements from several sources, including family members. Although Betsy Ross did make flags during that time frame, many Historians question if she was the maker of the very first.
Whatever the case, the claim stuck.
I remember well from my school days, if it was a flag-making question, the answer was always Betsy Ross.
Am I right? You'd quickly scan test for the Flag question and were ready with the answer: Betsy Ross. (maybe it was just me :)
As States were added , becoming United with other States, a stripe and a star would be added to the flag. Eventually, it was decided that 13 stripes representing the original States would stay constant and only a star would be added for each new State.
Otherwise, can you imagine, even before Hawaii and Alaska were added, it would have either been one very busy flag or one ginormous flag!
That Grand Old Flag was the Inspiration behind, what would later become, our National Anthem.
The Star Spangled Banner, words penned by Francis Scott Key and music composed by John Stafford Smith.
- Francis Scott Key was an American Attorney. He boarded a British ship which was in the Chesapeake Bay, near Ft. McHenry in the Baltimore Harbor. He was onboard to negotiate the release of an American, being held captive on the ship.
- The British began an assault on Fort McHenry, in an effort to take the Baltimore Harbor. The date was Sept.13th, 1814. The attack would last for a full day and for a full night.
- Flying high above the Fort, in all her Splendor, the American flag. Commissioned specifically with massive specifications, to be clearly visible to the British. The Stars and Stripes flew at the start of the massive bombardment and when morning had broken, "by the dawn's early light", that still held true.
- "Rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air" created much haze and it took some time for the skies to clear, those on the ship could not know "that our flag was still there". Francis Scott Key, still aboard the British Navy ship, did not know.
- The skies finally did clear and in the morning light, "broad stripes and bright stars" proudly waved, proclaiming yet, another Victory!
Oh the stories that old flag could tell....
Key put his eyewitness experience into poetic words, a poem that would soon be accompanied by music, becoming a song of Devotion, our National Anthem!
I've always seen our flag as Resilient, as Resilient as the brave men who were fighting two battles at once, within the walls of Fort McHenry. While defending the fort, in the heat of battle, they kept that grand old flag flying.
Such an amazing and miraculous feat!
As Resilient as every soldier that has ever gone into battle, defending the Freedoms that so many of us hold dear, understanding they come with a cost.
Freedoms that so many either fail to understand or do not care to understand!
Perhaps they have never been taught or received some misleading information along the way, as to what it is that old flag Represents.
As Resilient as every soldier that fights today and every family member which waits for their return, hoping and praying that the cost will not be paid by their loved one.
The ACT of one man, an athlete, taking a knee, disengaged, during the display of our flag and the singing of our National Anthem, spread like a wildfire!
First throughout the National football league and then into other sports, even on the junior level, into High Schools and Colleges, throughout the Land it spread, leading to similar Acts of defiance.
Every single Act costly and destructive, as costly as a flight of locusts, as destructive as a spreading wildfire would be, only...we cannot see the damage caused, with the human eye.
These images stand in stark contrast to the Resilient One/the Resilient Ones, wouldn't you agree?
There are several stanzas to The Star Spangled Banner.
We all know how it begins, but do you know how it ends?
The last stanza:
"Oh! Thus be it ever when freemen shall Stand
between their loved home 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".
E PLURIBUS UNUM