Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day: Star Spangled Banner, Long May You Wave Over the Home of the Free and the Land of the Brave

Today is Flag Day, a day we celebrate The Star Spangled Banner - not the Anthem, but the flag, as Francis Scott Key saw it in battle and penned it in 1814 at 35 years old. The morning after the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, our flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes represented a united 16 states. This is the flag that Key saw in the dawn of his morning:

The Star-Spangled Banner the morning of September 13, 1814
 after the Ft. Henry, Maryland Bombardment

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Some say the lyrics of the Star Spangled banner are out-dated - we need a new Anthem, they say, but the words are still as wonderfully expressive to me, as they surely were then to those who loved this country enough to risk all they had.

Perhaps we sing the song without thinking about the meaning behind the words. Think about it. Francis Scott Key looked for the flag from an anchored ship, in the breaking dawn of the battle for Fort McHenry.
...let's go back to the summer of 1813...At...Fort MHenry, the commander, Maj. George Armistead, asked for a flag so big that "the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance." Two officers, a Commodore and a General, were sent to the Baltimore home of Mary Young Pickersgill, a "maker of colours," and commissioned the flag. Mary and her thirteen year old daughter Caroline, working in an upstairs front bedroom, used 400 yeards of best quality woold bunting. They cut 15 stars that measured two feet from point to point. Eight red and seven white stripes, each two feet wide, were cut. Laying out the material on the malthouse floor of Claggett's Brewery, a neighborhood establishment, the flag was sewn together....It measured 30 by 42 feet and cost $405.90.  
At 7 a.m. in the morning of September 13, 1814, the British bombardment began, and the flag was ready to meet the enemy. The bombardment continued for 25 hours....The Americans had sunk 22 vessels so a close approach by the British was no possible. That evening the connonading stopped, but at about 1 a.m. on the 14th, the British fleet roared to life, lighting the rainy night sky with grotesque fireworks.
Waiting in the predawn darkness, Key waited for the sight that would end his anxiety; the joyous sight of Gen. Armistead's great flag blowing in the breeze. When at last daylight came, the flag was still there!
Bombardment of Ft. McHenry


At dawn, Key anxiously peers into the distance to see if the flag still waves, proving the battle for God and country has not been lost. And indeed it was waving. Could there be more poignant words to describe our flag than "a star-spangled banner?"

He sees her broad stripes and bright stars, still waving over a perilous battle. 

At twilight, the bombs are still raining down, the glare of the bursts again show proof that the symbol of freedom, the Star Spangled Banner, is still waving over the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.



Ronald Reagan once said we should always ask: "Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?"

As long as we are remembering to ask, perhaps the answer will never be "No."

You might be interested in this essay written in March 2010 by a college student whose school decided to ban the National Anthem. The decision was overturned, but the writer reminds the school of "the back story" of the Anthem and titles the essay "A History Lesson for the President of Goshen College."

In the video below, a beautiful, and unknown voice to me (maybe Jordin Sparks) sings The Star Spangled banner. The lyrics are on the screen, and if you haven't done it recently, take a moment on Flag Day to sing along and think about the men in battle, the families under seige, the enemy on our shores, and celebrate our star-spangled banner. Today, still protecting the star-spangled, is the U.S. Army, celebrating a 235th Birthday on June 14th.






The Star-Spangled Banner (video)

Others Celebrating Flag Day:
The Conservative Lady feeling patriotic. See a rousing video of Gene Simmons leading the trips of the anthems of each branch of our military. What a great video!

ChicagoRay's Conservative Chronicles - Flag Day as Army Celebrates 235the Birthday

GeeeeeZ! - What's the FLAG mean to you?

Hot Air - see a great video with Gregg Jarrett at Fox News on the history of Flag Day

Michelle Malkin - National Flag Day

via Lew Rockwell, The Onion says U.S. Flag Recalled after Causing 143 Million Deaths (it's a joke, friends)

Viewed from the Right - with some great flag photos, including of Sarah Palin

Amusing Bunni who on Flag Day, gives us a gift. She has a video of college kids, who probably voted for Obama...have seen the light, have accepted it, and now send him a message. It will make you smile.

Odie at Woodsterman has a big, waving flag, not as big as Gen. Armistead's 42' flag, yet a big, spirited and waving Old Glory.



©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton