Christian living, Inspirational

Why I love the Red, White & Blue

By Del Duduit

Everyone likes music and songs.

Angie and I right after our tour of Graceland in Memphis.

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.

My souvenir T-shirt from the Norah Jones show in Washington D.C.

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.

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.

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 fools could do what they are doing today with our flag.

This is no respect for authority, life, or God.

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1 Peter, 2: 17 KJV)

I cannot comprehend the hatred that comes out of some people who live in the USA and I guess I never will. I honor the red, white and blue and am thankful for the freedom we have, so far.

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 and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.


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8 thoughts on “Why I love the Red, White & Blue”

  1. Well said Mr. Del. I’ve stood, hand on heart, and pledged allegiance to it for as long as I can remember. I’ve stood in solemn salute and watched it raised and lowered. I’ve fought to defend it, and all it stands for. I’ve watched it draped over the coffins of beloved brothers in arms. I’ve seen it fly at half-mast for fallen leaders and heroes far too many times. I’ve watched it burn on streets in foreign lands. And yes, I’ve watched with a mixture of horror and anger as it was trampled upon and burned here in America. I too will continue to honor, cherish, and respect our “ragged old flag”; not because I’m a “hanger on” to a time lost and long-forgotten by many, but because I stand to honor those who sacrificed their all for what it stands for. I suppose one day, I’ll be forced to choose between the subverted government who claims this flag and the God who inspired the nation it once stood for. When that day comes, God knows the choice I made long ago. Acts 5:29


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