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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, “Now 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 hanging on it” He said, “Have a seat.” And I sat down. “Is the 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 kind of 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 powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat up watching it, writing “Say Can you See.” It got a little rip in New Orleans with Packingham and Jackson pulling at its seams. And it almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though. It got cut with a sword at ChancellorsVille and it cut again at Shiloh Hill.

There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard and Bragg. 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 by the time it was through, she was in Korea and Viet Nam. She went where she sent by her Uncle Sam; she waved from our ships upon the briny foam. And now they’ve about quit waving her at home. 

In her own good land she’s been abused, she’s burned, dishonored, denied, refused and now the Government for which she stands is scandalized through out our land. And she’s getting threadbare and she’s wearing thin. But she’s in good shape for the shape she in. Cause she’s been through the fire before, and I believe she can take a whole lot more. 

So we raise here up every morning 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    Johnny Cash, March 1974

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(Archive article by Johnny Cash: I’m proud to be an American. The Man In Black proudly wears his red-white-and–blue heart on his sleeve. As the presidential elections approach, music legend Johnny Cash gives a rare personal interview urging EXAMINER reader to be proud of the American way of life. I’m not ashamed of the lump in my throat when I sing God Bless America, Star Spangled Banner, America The Beautiful, or that Ragged Old Flag “say Cash with river-bottom baritone and poetic style. “Nor do I mind that same lump when I recite the Pledge Of allegiance. The 68-year-old-singer-writer has entertained presidents and prisoners. One of the moving memory comes from a 1981 performance before President Ronald Reagan at Fords Theatre in Washington, D.C. “My throat had a one of the biggest lumps in My life,” says Cash from standing onstage gazing at the flag-draped box seat where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Lincoln’s box was there, with American flag. And I sang The “Ragged Old flag.

I was reminded that courage and character are qualities that make America great. I have great faith in our future – as I look back on our history, with pride in the past. I believe in America and all its sons and daughters. Cash’s own life embodies The American Dream. Born to an Arkansas farm boy family so poor their daddy killed the family dog than feed it scarps, the singer-song-writer rose to become an American artistic treasure. While placing over 100 top 40 hits on the Billboard country chart, including 14 No. is, he crossed over to pop chart, placing more singles than such powerhouse as Michael Jackson and Billy Joel. He has won 10 Grammy’s, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, leading him to become the only artist inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame AND the Rock And Roll Of Fame AND the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Critics have praised Cash’s most recent album a three-CD set called Love, God, Murder but his tours have been sidelined by thought to be Shy-Drager Syndrome, and which later proved to a false. With all his success, Cash hasn’t forgotten the struggles of a poor. Explained in his song Man In Black, he wears only that somber color as long as people go hungry or suffer injustice, prompting the nickname The Man In Black. For him, the personal struggle out of poverty has only proved that America is the land of opportunity. America is reassured by strong of heart, the self-reliant and solid citizenry who are proud of their heritage. I am proud of my country because of its faith in God, its love of its freedoms and its stand for good in the world. America gave the blood of her young to protect these freedoms. The Grand-Ole Lady may worry at times, but she is confident when the majority of We The People speak.

Especially when people speak with their votes, he says. Today, the Lady we call America appears as she hears the quiet and orderly voices of her children as they express their opinions will also be expressed later this in upcoming election. I’ll still be for whoever is in the White House. I believe in America and our system of Government. We elect our man, and if you don’t stand behind him, get out of the way so I can stand behind him  Johnny Cash

Revised: September 03, 2007



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