Carolyn Blackmon taught her 5th grade music classes the tune and lyrics to “You’re a grand old flag,” for the entirety of her teaching career at De Kalb Junior High School.
The chorus will stick in your head and it’s hard to think of anything else for a while after 3 or 4 lively renditions of the tune, written by George M. Cohan. Thanks, Jimmy Cagney.
It is Flag Day here in these Untied States today, you know?
You can thank the Second Continental Congress for passing its resolution today. Oh, but it was today back in 1777 when they arrived at this decision.
Most Flag Days here in the States pass without much fanfare or mention. But we’re in different times, so it’s been on my mind for a few days now.
I thought of it when the NFL decided to require its football players to stand when the “Star Spangled Banner” is played prior to the kicking off at football games.
I thought of Flag Day when keyboard warriors resurrected the Roseanne Barr National Anthem incident that happened way back when.
I thought of Flag Day on June 6, the anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
I remembered that the iconic suit worn by the character Uncle Sam goes against the United States Flag Code, despite the wild popularity of its being.
There are plenty of other examples of disrespect and code violations. I saw more than I can count during a visit to a department store earlier this month.
Then there’s the flag burning and arrest of Gregory Lee Johnson in 1984.
And on… and on.. and on… oh say? Does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave?
You bet your bottom U.S. George Washington Federal Reserve Note Dollar it does.
It waves for you and me. It waves for Mr. Johnson. It waves for Ernie Pyle and Franklin Sousley. And yes, as painful as it may be, it even waved for people like Benedict Arnold, Timothy McVeigh, and Tomoya Kawakita.
It also continues to wave for those who choose to kneel when they feel the need to make a point. It waves for those who are willing to die to defend the country for which it stands. And for those who have perished in defense or in support of its country’s mission. It waves the same for all of those people, regardless of how much or how little they gave or care. It is an equal opportunity in the most basic sense.
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave, it does indeed wave.
So when you pledge allegiance to it, despite your personal feelings for which it stands, I implore you, my fellow, to consider this: Kneeling while others stand is as much a testament to the freedoms the flag represents as any other action we’re blessed to enjoy as citizens.
I believe I’ve always stood and pledged my allegiance to it as long as I’ve been able. I’ll continue to do so until I can’t stand any longer. But that’s me. As the kids say these days, “You do you.”
I’ll continue to regard those that don’t as my fellow citizens who exercise their rights, despite my disagreements with them and their methods.
After all, they could easily be old acquaintances. And should old acquaintances be forgot, keep your eye on that grand old flag.
Happy Flag Day to you and yours.