Brownielocks and The 3 Bears

Ragged Old Flag
Written and Performed by Johnny Cash in 1974.
Recorded on Columbia Records.

(This is not a song. It's a poem.)


I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin' there.
I said, "Your old court house is kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town".
I said, "Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that's a ragged old flag you got hangin' 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'
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
Tugging at it's 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 and 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, 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 wavin' back here at home.
In her own good land here She's been abused.
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused.
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' 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.
And we bring her down slow 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!"



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