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Ragged Ol’ Flag

I walked through a county courthouse square,

and on a park bench an old man was sittin’ there.

I said, “your old courthouse is kind of run down.”

He said, “naw, that’ll do for our little town.”

I said, “your old flagpole is kind of leaned a little bit.

And that’s a ragged ol’ flag you’ve got hanging on it.”

He said. “have a seat,” and I sat down.

He said, “Is this the first time you’ve come to our little town?”

I said, “I think it is.” He said, “I don’t like to brag,

but we’re kind of proud of that ragged ol’ flag.”

“You see we got a little hole in that flag there,

when Washington brought it across the Delaware.

And it got powder burns the night Francis Scott Key

sat up watching and writing, “Oh say can you see. . . . .”

It got a little rip in New Orleans,

with Pakenham and Jackson tugging at its seams.

It almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, but she waived on though.

It got cut by a sword at Chancellorsville, got cut again at Shiloh Hill.

There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard and Bragg,

and the south wind blew hard on that ragged ol’ flag.

On Flanders Field in World War I, she took a bad hit from a Bertha gun.

She turned blood red in World War II,

she hung limp and low by the time that one was through.

She was in Korea and Viet Nam,

she went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.

The Native American Indian, the Black, the Yellow, the White,

all shed red blood for the Stars and Stripes.

And in her own good land here she’s been abused,

she’s been burned, dishonored, denied, refused.

And the very Government for which she stands,

is scandalized throughout the land.

And she’s getting threadbare and she’s wearing kind of thin,

but she’s in pretty good shape for the shape she’s in.

She’s been through the fire before, and she can take a whole lot more.

So we raise her up every morning and bring her down slow every night,

we don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right.

On second thought, I guess I do like to brag,

‘cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged ol’ flag.

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