“I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Francis Bellamy, a Socialist minister, wouldn’t have tolerated God’s name in the mouth of a 1954 U.S. politician.
Our national anthem was set to the tune of an old English drinking song, wherein a poetic society successfully invites a bawdy wine-loving old ancient Greek poet to join their club. Patriotic 1814 Baltimore would’ve loudly saluted the flag with it.
The wonderful third verse where the British Army’s blood washes out their foul boot-prints is doubtless tongue-in-cheek. Our troops broke and ran, and the redcoats burned our capital. But the world’s best naval artillery’s night-long worst left our flag, and our country, still there. Like on 9/11, our country’s real victory.
And I think Oliver Wendell Holmes’ anti-slavery Civil War verses repair some politics:
“When our land is illumined with Liberty’s smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained who our birthright have gained,
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave!”
Big plastic ale mugs for the fans, at attention both standing and kneeling. And cider for the kids. Like our founders would have definitely done.