Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin there.
I said, "Your court house is kinda run down,
He said, "No, it will do for our little town".

I said "your old flag pole kinda leaned a little bit,
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it".
He said "have a seat", so I sat down,
He said, "is this your first time you 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.
It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing "Oh Say Can You See"

It got a bad rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson tugging at its seams.
It almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on tho.
It got cut with a sword in Chancellorsville,
Got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
"That Ragged Old Flag"

On Flanders Field in World War I,
She took a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low a time or two.
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.

She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
And here in her own good land,
She’s been abused, burned, dishonored, denied and refused,
And the very government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearing thin,
But she’s in pretty good shape, for the shape she’s in.
Cause she’s been through the fire before
and I know, she can take a whole lot more.

So we raise her up every morning
And we bring 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"
--John R. Cash,

The first time I heard this poem, I was sitting in a Sacrament Meeting, in July if memory serves me correctly. I couldn't have been older than about 10. But even then, it filled me with a sense of pride, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

So today I dedicate it to the Veterans past and present who have lived and died to protect our Grand Old Flag and all it represents.

And I send a special salute to my Grandfathers. To Grandpa George H. Taylor, 1918-1988, whose homeland injury prevented him from serving abroad for the land he loved, and filled him with regret all his days, but who instilled in his children and grandchildren the love and respect for this great Nation. And to Grandpa R. Doyle Shields, 1924-, who risked it all and saw the horrors of war from the front lines during the Battle of the Bulge, among other battles.

Thank you for your service.

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