RAGGED OLD FLAG

I walked through a county court house square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there
I said, "Your court house is kinda run down"
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town"
I said, "Your flag pole 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 in 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 watchin' it writing "Say Can You See'
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packinham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams
And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag but she waved on through

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 I
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through
She was in Korea and Vietnam

She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam
Native Americans, brown, yellow and white
All shed red blood for the Stars and Stripes
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
Has been scandalized throughout the land
And she's getting threadbare and waring 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, take her down every night
We don't let her touch the ground and fold her up tight
On second thought I do like to brag
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

Circa 1974
By Johnny Cash




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