By Del Duduit
Everyone likes music and songs.
I have a variety of musicians I enjoy listening to.
A few months ago, Angie and I visited Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and we got a taste of what it was like to live like a King.
Within the span of a few weeks, about three years ago, we watched Norah Jones perform in Washington D.C. and then Columbus, Ohio.
I like a mixture of classics, blues and jazz and some country.
But one of my all-time favorite writers and singers was Johnny Cash.
He was a rebel at times throughout his career, but you could never question his patriotic flare.
One of the songs he wrote applies today, especially since we just celebrated Flag Day.
There are things that happen in this nation that I don’t agree with but can try to understand circumstances.
People have the right to protest events or happenings I might not like but that is what makes the United States of America the greatest nation on the planet.
But I cannot understand why any person who lives here would burn the symbol of freedom – our flag.
Johnny Cash wrote a song in 1974 amidst the Watergate scandal to let everyone know how he felt about the red, white and blue.
This nation is not perfect, but it’s the greatest in the word, and we should appreciate its heritage.
The song became a mainstay in his shows, and he often preceded it with this quote:
“I thank God for all the freedom we have in this country, I cherish them and treasure them – even the right to burn the flag,” he said. “We also got the right to bear arms, and if you burn my flag — I’ll shoot you.”
Read the lyrics to this magnificent song; “Ragged Old Flag” and listen to Cash’s version of his song. Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag audio
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there
I said, your old courthouse is kinda run down
He said, no, it’ll do for our little town
I said, your old flagpole has leaned a little bit
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it
He said, have a seat, and I sat down
Is this the first time you’ve been 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
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing say can you see
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams
And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg
And the south wind blew hard on that ragged old flag
On Flanders field in World War One
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun
She turned blood red in World War Two
She hung limp and low a time or two
She was in Korea and Vietnam
She went where she was sent by Uncle Sam
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home
In her own good land here she’s been abused
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused
And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more
So we raise her up every morning
We take her down 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 ragged old flag.
Events over the past few weeks have brought about confusion and discouragement when I think about how men and women died so some could do what they are doing today with our flag.
This is a lack of respect for authority, life, and God. But it’s not too late to turn the corner.
I wish everyone would love our country the way I do and enjoy the freedom we have in the USA, while it lasts.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.