– Don’t tread on the country’s flag.

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Singer Macy Gray was in the news recently, not for her music but for an Op-Ed she penned calling for a change in the design of our flag, “Old Glory.” She claimed, “The American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief. God bless those believers, they can have it. Like the Confederate (flag), it is tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect… It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us. It’s not fair to be forced to honor it. It’s time for a new flag.”

This has charged liberal progressives to seek a new flag, as well as changing the national anthem. All of this seems particularly strange as we approach our July 4th Independence Day, where both will be on proud display.

Ms. Gray is obviously ashamed of our flag, and in doing so, she expresses her contempt for the country which allowed her to make money, attain stardom, and accept the accolades of her industry. Like many on the left, she wants to change the basic tenets of the country, replace its icons, re-write history and subvert the U.S. Constitution. No, she is not a believer in this form of government as it was originally designed and, like so many Democrats, believe it is time to re-write it. Then again, it seems rather obvious she doesn’t know the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic.

I’m also not convinced Ms. Gray understands how the American flag came into being. I even wonder if she knows who Betsy Ross was. As most of us know the thirteen red and white stripes represent the thirteen colonies (CT, DE, GA, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, and VA). These were the first to lay it on the line and break away from Great Britain, a very bold and bloody experience. The blue rectangular canton represents the “Union” of states, as depicted by five point stars for each state. (Yes, there is currently 50 states for those of you who didn’t take Civics; not 51 nor 57). As states were added to the original thirteen states, stars were added to the flag accordingly. (Gee, I cannot believe I have to explain this).

Other than this, there is no other hidden meaning in the flag. No, it doesn’t represent racism, capitalism, socialism, or any other “ism.” If anything, it represents the Republic we live in, liberty, and the U.S. Constitution. American men and women have followed it into all of our military conflicts, and have died for it. So, for Ms. Gray to say our flag is “dated, divisive, and incorrect,” is an insult to everyone who fought and died for it, honored it in parades, schools, and countless public events.

I have been to numerous parades over the years, both as a participator and a side-liner, and I have always been inspired by the people who stand, salute, cheer, and even cry as the flag passes them. If anything, we need a little more flag waving, not less.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of Independence Day is the playing of John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever!” For years, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops made this their signature music as they played it annually on the 4th of July, much to the delight of those in attendance as well as those watching on television.

Sousa wrote the piece on Christmas Day in 1896 and first performed it the following year. In 1987, by act of Congress, it became the official National March of our country.

The music is particularly stirring. So much so, few realize words accompany it. Below are the lyrics. If you read them carefully, you will not see racism or any form of oppression between the lines. Instead, you will see how much Sousa loved our flag and the country it represents. His credentials were impeccable, and he was highly decorated and achieved acclaim around the world.

The Stars and Stripes Forever!
by John Philip Sousa

Let martial note in triumph float And liberty extend its mighty hand A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers, The banner of the Western land. The emblem of the brave and true Its folds protect no tyrant crew; The red and white and starry blue

Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best And cheer them with fervid elation But the flag of the North and South and West

Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free! May it wave as our standard forever, The gem of the land and the sea, The banner of the right. Let despots remember the day When our fathers with mighty endeavor Proclaimed as they marched to the fray That by their might and by their right

It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak The never-ending watchword of our land; Let summer breeze waft through the trees The echo of the chorus grand. Sing out for liberty and light, Sing out for freedom and the right. Sing out for Union and its might,

O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best And cheer them with fervid elation, But the flag of the North and South and West

Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free. May it wave as our standard forever The gem of the land and the sea, The banner of the right. Let despots remember the day When our fathers with might endeavor Proclaimed as they marched to the fray, That by their might and by their right

It waves forever.

Phrases like, “The emblem of the brave and true,” “the flag of Freedom’s nation,” and “Sing out for Union and its might,” describes how Sousa and patriots feel about the flag and our country. The song, like the flag, should put a smile on the face of all red-blooded Americans as it represents the true spirit of the American people. It is not based on the dogma of a political party, but for our country as a whole. Nonetheless, Democrats like Ms. Gray would have us believe the flag reflects the values of the Republican Party and, therefore, should be abolished. Forget that it was used in battle to free the slaves, forget it was followed by soldiers, sailors, and Marines in two World Wars, Korea, Viet Nam, etc. Forget that it is a recognized symbol of freedom around the world. Forget all that.

The reason the left hates the flag is not because of racism or oppression, but because true Americans love it. They hate America that much and want a different country instead.

To those who want to change the flag, it’s music, and other national icons, you are not kidding anyone. You are simply trying to usurp the spirit of America, a spirit which has helped so many people, both foreign and domestic for well over 200 years, for which I say to you, “Go to Hell!”

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2021 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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