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Oh Say Can You See by the Dawn's Early Light: Our National Anthem; Worthy at All Times and in All Places

God Bless America, Land that I Love, Stand beside her and guide her, thru the night, with a Light from above...


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

You're a grand old flag, you're a high-flying flag

The Great Garrison flag

The Star Spangled Banner

and my personal favorite:

Old Glory

Old Glory, so named by an Oregon boat Captain in the early 1800s.

I've also heard our flag referred to as, the resilient one!

Resilient, now that's an adequate description.

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; representing hardiness and courage

White; representing purity and innocence

Blue; representing vigilance, perseverance and justice

In 1870, the grandson of Betsy Ross, stated that Betsy Ross was responsible for making the very first American flag and based the claim on sworn statements from several sources, including family members.

Betsy Ross did make flags during that time frame and although some Historians question if she was the maker of the very first, she gets full credit.

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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 the test for the flag question and were ready with the answer:

Betsy Ross

(maybe that was just me)

The Betsy Ross flag

The Betsy Ross flag

In All Her Splendor

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 thirteen 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 congested flag or one ginormous flag!

That grand ole flag was the inspiration behind, what, in time, would become known as, our National Anthem.

The Star Spangled Banner, words penned by Francis Scott Key and music composed by John Stafford Smith.

Some history:

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 and 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, clearly designed to be visible to the British (almost as if saying, you want me, come and get me) 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, the "broad stripes and bright stars", proudly still 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 (that word again) 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 Star-Spangled Banner

Disrespecting the Flag and the National Anthem

The actions of one man, an athlete, taking a knee, disengaged, aloof, 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 defiant act, costly and destructive. As costly as a flight of locusts, as destructive as a spreading wildfire. Only, we cannot see the damage caused, with the human eye

These images stand in stark contrast to the resilient one and the resilient ones...

wouldn't you agree?

Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Flies

...O'er the land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

...O'er the land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

O'er the land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

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 war's desolation,

Blest with vic'try 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."


Our Flag Has a Way of Making you stop and Take Note



The World Book Encyclopedia

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 A B Williams


A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on June 05, 2020:

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on March 03, 2020:

Thank you Shannon. It's an oldie but goodie. :)

Thought 'National Anthem' day, a good time to share it again.

Shannon Henry from Texas on March 03, 2020:

Interesting article, Angie! Thanks for sharing it on FB.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on September 25, 2017:

I hear you!

This break-up is going to be harder on me than any other break-up EVER!

Sad day.

Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on September 25, 2017:

Hi AB, I came across the picture from WWll of the soldiers planting the flag in Iwo Jima and it made me think. How can anyone look at that picture or the picture of the firemen raising the flag after 911, and think it is OK to disrespect our soldiers, our flag, our national anthem AND our country. These football and basketball players, most of which have never served their country in any aspect other than entertainment, don't know the meaning of loyalty, except maybe in a friendship. Same goes for the celebrities acting that act so high and mighty and preach to others like they know everything. They make me SICK. OK, I put my soapbox away.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on September 25, 2017:

Yesterday's display, 9/24/17, was despicable.

It was bad enough witnessing what took place in stadiums across the Nation, but NFL Teams in England, representing the USA, kneeling for our National Anthem and then standing, out of respect for, "God Save the Queen"!

Forget the phrase 'slapping the face of ' ALL those that have Served (and Died), protecting the Rights of all of us, this was 'a complete and full-on punch in the face'.

Yes these Players have the Right, but does that make it right?

If these Players feel as if they have been wronged somehow...?... they need to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

On the turf, before a game, is not the place or the time and doing so on foreign soil is certainly not!

That was just....heartbreaking!

I'm done with the NFL and the NBA.


A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on July 02, 2017:

...Cause the Flag still Stands for Freedom and they can't take that away.

...There ain't no doubt, I ❤️ this Land, God Bless the U.S.A.

Happy Independence Day All!

Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on October 10, 2016:

Hi AB, glad things went well with H. Matthew.

John Wilson from Whereever I hang my hat is my hone. Currently in Ibarra, Ecuador on October 06, 2016:

Don't taze me bro -

Haven't given the elites nothing.

Nor the scum that is ruining america.

If you have to have the flag as a rallying point, that's your choice.

A flag is a piece of cloth - can be used to justify the wrong doings of the politicians - can be used to justify those that are patriotic - I'll let you decide for yourself.

For me - it's a symbol of a country - the U.S.A.

In my opinion, the country no longer deserves my respect. A socialistic, marxist, whimpering people can go their way and I'll go mine.

When the Constitution is followed, when the rights of individuals are put back in place, then I will consider respecting the flag and the national anthem.

Until that time comes, don't expect me to stand, pledge or doing anything to support the elite and the corrupt politicians.

I'd be more inclined to stand up for the Confederate flag - at least those men died trying to stop the insane federalism and socialism that has spread throughout the land.


Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on October 06, 2016:

AB, what is wrong with this hub?

Banned cause of PISSANTS Promisem and Dean Traylor on October 06, 2016:

Old Guard you make a very big mistake when you say "I do believe there does come a point when "respect" for a flag or a national anthem ends because of the actions of the elite directing the country, the politicians or military usurping power."

The flag is not a flag of the new "elite" It doesn't stand for anything like that or anyone who has usurped what it stands for because they have usurped America's power, never did and never will. That is your mistake, not a mistake of those who are patriotic to what it does stand for and by thinking as you do you have allowed those "elite" to win. Just by their existence, you have given them the victory in your mind by wrongly assigning what the flag stands for... to them.

That would be no different than condemning the original 13 colonies while fighting for independence for being ruled but the King which they were until they won independence.

We have to hold dear that flag which stands for what those 13 colonies achieved and trust that what it stands for can overcome the assault of immorality and tyranny by the "elitists" that is upon our country today and like in the thirteen colonies it will only be overcome by faith in this flag and what it has always stood for and still does in the face of this assault.

You, by what you have said have given tyranny the victory and taken away the hope of patriot Americans...wake up.

John Wilson from Whereever I hang my hat is my hone. Currently in Ibarra, Ecuador on October 06, 2016:


The America I knew as a child is gone.

We currently have a socialistic mixture of rules and regulations that makes every citizen a criminal.

I too believe in God, truly believe he had a hand in the founding of America.

Unfortunately, our elected officials have chosen to ignore the Constitution, infringe on our freedoms and are trying to enslave every citizen in America.

If you don't see that now, just wait.

When your 15 on the list of "free countries" in the world, when you used to be first, the elite and the politicians are enslaving the populace.

They've crossed my "line in the sand".

Give them time, and they may cross yours.

Patriotism is a "feeling" - nothing more, nothing less.

When you see the U.S. politicians as the barbarians they are, maybe your feelings will change.

Even during Stalins dictatorship, the Russians stood up to the Nazi's.

Amazing what can be done if the will of the people are combined into a focused task.

Patriotism is earned, not innate.

Best of luck to you and yours. Be safe in that monster of a storm!


A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on October 06, 2016:

I just realized that this Article doesn't Pass Muster with the Editors at Hubpages, so I'll not spend any more time here.

I just wanted to say to you Old Guard. My Faith means everything to me, I can't see God, but I know he's there, always with me. My Patriotism can't be seen, it is always with me, a part of who I am. When I was a child, I would run to school, not excited about the school work, excited that we would be singing songs about America, followed by the Pledge, ending in prayer or a moment of silence. Patriotism isn't learned, it's innate.

I have to go prepare for a hurricane.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on October 05, 2016:

I'll always have high regard for the flag and for the Anthem. I could never disrespect either. They both represent something much greater than those in D.C. Again, when I Pledge Allegiance to the flag, I'm not Pledging Allegiance to a screw-up in Washington.

It is unfortunate that some voters continue to vote for the same people or the carbon copy of the same people over and over again, expecting different results, that does not change my gratitude for what happened here over 200 years ago. A Republic was born, I have great Respect for the 40% or so that wanted Revolution and went for it (glad that they weren't all whiny and cynical)

John Wilson from Whereever I hang my hat is my hone. Currently in Ibarra, Ecuador on October 05, 2016:

Ah, but the questions beg to be answered.

When do you stop the emotional cause for the flag?

Or do you follow the "patriotic" propaganda through military dictatorship like they did in Nazi Germany?

I do believe there does come a point when "respect" for a flag or a national anthem ends because of the actions of the elite directing the country, the politicians or military usurping power.

Under what conditions would you no longer "respect" the flag or the national anthem?

For me, I truly believe this is the government the founders warned us about.

I would not stand for the national anthem, nor would I fly the American flag and least of all, pledge allegiance to this group of scum we have in D.C..

I've believe that those that are "elected" have crossed my invisible "line in the sand", and I will not participate in any of this "patriotic" blather until things change in the U.S.

So, the question is still there - what actions from your government would finally convince you that you're fairy tale of a country called America is in reality a socialist or dictatorial fraud?

Or, blindly be "patriotic" no matter the actions of the country's actions against it's citizens?

Both have occurred in history.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on October 05, 2016:

Much Respect gregas! Thank you for your Service!

John Wilson from Whereever I hang my hat is my hone. Currently in Ibarra, Ecuador on October 05, 2016:

gregas -

Type into google search "What rights have I lost in the U.S. in the last 40 years"

It will bring up about 338 million responses to your "I don't know what rights you have lost" statement.

Personally, I don't care if your offended.

I don't care about being politically correct.

Like I sated - my father served in WWII and has the same problem I have with the country - "I didn't fight for a corrupt country like this" is one of his favorite statements.

What I am concerned about is the loss of freedoms in the U.S., the corruption of the government officials and the strangulation of capitalism, which was the back bone of this once great nation.

If I had fought, I would be disgusted with spending time to protect "freedoms", then have those rights taken away by corrupt politicians.

But, that's me.

You can feel anyway you'd like.

If it helps to you justify your time in the military, supporting the likes of reid, obama, bush, clinton, johnson, nixon and the other ilk that are sucking the life out of America - well, you have the freedom to do that.

I just happen to think differently - which I have the freedom to do.

And those that burn a piece of red, white and blue cloth - well, that's the freedom that's found in America.

I'm sure that those that have died do not feel any better because I do burn a flag or not.

The flag is a symbolic item, attached to what ever psychological thing you attach to it.

Only the living have an attachment to it, and I was asking the question of why, and what would change that attachment or view of the flag.

And remember what Mark Twain said about voting - "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it"

Have a happy day


Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on October 05, 2016:

If you don't like the government then change the government. We really haven't lost any rights. They tell us that we should say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas because it might' offend someone'. I still say Merry Christmas. It offends me that they want me to change because 'they' don't like it. Tell me what rights have you lost. But the Flag stands for the men that died for this country and the rights that you have. When they burn an American Flag that OFFENDS ME. I have lost relatives and friends fighting for that flag. I served in the US Air Force in the 60s and I will defend the flag till my death.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on October 05, 2016:

I would never tell you or your Father to love it or leave it. I'll save that for those that condemn her and find fault with her on a daily basis.

Thank your Father for his Service, tell him not to give up on this Country. There are many, teaching their children and grandchildren about men like your Father, Countering the liberal mindset,prevalent in all walks of their lives,at every turn! My Dad Served in the Air Force, my brother Served. I could go on and on...

I shared this lesson of America's Anthem so that those in the spotlight for bad, disrespectful behavior, not continue to take it away from those Deserving of the spotlight (although they do not ask for it, it isn't in their DNA)

God will always be first and foremost in my life, he had a hand in our miraculous inception. I honor him, when I pledge allegiance.

When Obama was running initially, I received a 'pledge' to sign, to serve Barack Obama. I still get angry thinking about it. Like I told 'her' I only Serve God, not any man. All elected officials work for us, not the other way around. Our Constitution saw to that and still does to this day, as far as I'm concerned!

I am so tired of progressives revising history and twisting meaningful events and dissing America and filling kids heads with b.s.

I could go on, but I'll let others take it from here.....

John Wilson from Whereever I hang my hat is my hone. Currently in Ibarra, Ecuador on October 05, 2016:

Let me play devils advocate here.

The "flag burning" that I remember started showing up with the unjust war in Vietnam. (It was unjust, like most of the "policing" actions the government has taken over the last 50 years. An involvement based on lies and propaganda - think Iraq, Libya, Syria etc. etc.)

Since that time, I've seen it ebb and flow - people burning the flag for whatever agenda they are pushing.

At times I think people are justified - with the politicians taking away freedoms year by year, how does one differentiate between the crooked politicians and the flag?

I see the flag as a representation of the Constitution - that it was made as a symbol for the inalienable rights that we as citizens have.

When those rights are being taken away, is it time to reconsider what the flag stands for?

If we, as a people, believe that the government and the flag are inseparable, then does massive corruption in government change your views of the flag and what it represents?

Or do we hang on to our "patriotism" no matter how corrupt the government gets?

I know that Amish never pledge allegiance to the flag of America. They know that their only allegiance is to their God.

Is there a point where you, as an American, would also participate in what the Amish do - not pledge your "patriotism" to a symbol that has been corrupted by our "elected" representatives?

Even the people in Germany, during the Nazi period, the citizens were extremely patriotic - as was Russia during communism and China during Mao's purging and killing of millions of Chinese.

Yes, I know that in the past, America had a lot going for it.

But, looking over that last 40 years in America, the landscape has changed - politically, Constitutionally and economically.

Is it ever justified to burn the flag?

Or are we always supposed to blindly stand by the flag, no matter how strongly we disagree with the actions of our government?

Do you always view the flag and the actions of our representatives as separate entities?

Don't think that I have written this on a whim.

My father fought in WWll and asks these same questions when we talk about America.

His question is, "What the hell did I fight for? It was not for a country that's turned out like this!!"

He's angry, as are any other Americans, about the road that America has taken.

Does the flag represent that or something else?

And please don't tell me "Love it or leave it" - a trite response to avoid answering pertinent questions........


Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on October 05, 2016:

I looked at that video and Colin should be ashamed of himself for starting this. But we know he is beaming because he is a jerk.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on October 05, 2016:

This video got me fired up Gregas/ Taze, had to find some release. Tried to find it with words!

Banned cause of PISSANTS Promisem and Dean Traylor on October 05, 2016:

Thank you AB for reminding us of what the flag stands for, it's history and the reverence real patriots should have for it.

It won't be long until the last stanza of The Star Spangled Banner is changed to

"O'er the land of what used to be the Free and the Home of the Brave!"

Gregas, you have to ask yourself out of all the flags of dictator nations across the world with no respect for any human rights why would anyone choose the American flag over theirs to burn or disrespect. There are many better places to start than with the freest most honorable country in the world despite the human shortcomings of some of it's people.

A B Williams (author) from Central Florida on October 05, 2016: