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Spirit Of America




                 I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
                    of the United States of America
                     and to the Republic for which it stands,
             one Nation under God, indivisible,
                 with liberty and justice for all.

                   The Story of the "Pledge Allegiance

                     The History of the "Pledge of Allegiance

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star-spangled banner,
the National Anthem of the United States of
America is a poem inspired by the Battle of Baltimore,
 fought on September 12-14, 1814 during the War of 1812.

During the British campaign against Washington, D.C.,
an elderly and respected physician, Dr. William Beanes
was arrested for unfriendly acts toward the British soldiers.
 Francis Scott Key, a prominent lawyer and friend of
Dr. Beanes was sent by President James Madison
 to obtain his release.
Following negotiations,
 the British agreed to release Beanes.
However, since the British were
going to attack Baltimore, Maryland next,
they would allow no one to go ashore.

The British landed soldiers on September 12
and engaged in a brisk land battle,
however, they were not able to capture Baltimore.
As part of a two pronged attack,
the British now sent their naval
fleet to attack and destroy the city.
The main defense of Baltimore
harbor was Fort McHenry.
For 25 hours the British fleet
fired rockets and bombs at the fort.
The fort's defender withstood the
 bombardment and did not surrender.
The British realized they could not
 take Baltimore without heavy casualties.
 Since they were not willing to pay
this price, they departed from Baltimore.

During the bombardment,
Key was down river watching and was inspired to
write a poem that tells the story of the battle.
When he reached Baltimore he finished the poem.
Key wrote the poem to match the meter to be
 sung to an old English tune To Anacreon in Heaven.

The song slowly grew in popularity and was well known
and used by both sides during the Civil war.
In later years it was very popular with the military
and it was used as an "unofficial" national anthem.
 During World War I, the song became so widely accepted that
a drive resulted in the Congress
making it the National Anthem in 1931.

The National Museum of American History,
which is part of the Smithsonian Institution,
displays in its main lobby the Star-Spangled Banner
 which is 30 feet wide and 42 long.
 Because of its deteriorated condition,
 most Americans have long assumed
that this flag flew during the battle.
 However, historians using both British and American sources
have found that during the battle there was a late summer
storm which would have prevented the
 1260 square foot woolen flag from being flown.
A 17 by 25 storm flag would
have been the size of the actual flag flying during the battle.
The large flag, however, was raised the following morning
as the British were departing from Baltimore.
This would have been the flag Key
would have seen when entered Baltimore.

The original manuscript is now on display at the
Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.
 Fort McHenry still stands and it is part of the National Park Service.
 The fort is the only site to have both a national monument
and historic shrine designation.



The Star Spangle Banner Lyrics

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'T is the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


I am the Flag
by Ruth Apperson Rous

I am the flag of the United States of America.
I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.
There the Continental Congress adopted
my stars and stripes as the national flag.
My thirteen stripes alternating red and white,
with a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue,
 represented a new constellation,
 a new nation
dedicated to the personal and
religious liberty of mankind.
Today fifty stars signal from my union,
one for each of the fifty sovereign states
in the greatest constitutional
 republic the world has ever known.
My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals
and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country.
My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage
and integrity of American men and boys
and the self-sacrifice and devotion
of American mothers and daughters.
My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.
My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.
I represent these eternal principles:
liberty, justice, and humanity.
I embody American freedom: freedom of speech,
religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home.
I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to
 my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my
 forefathers - the Pilgrims, Puritans,
settlers at James town and Plymouth.
I am as old as my nation.
I am a living symbol of my nation's law:
the Constitution of the United States
and the Bill of Rights.
I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy:
"A government of the people,
by the people,for the people."
I stand guard over my nation's schools,
the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism.
I am displayed in every schoolroom
throughout my nation;
every schoolyard has a flag pole for my display.
Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls
 pledge their allegiance to me and my country.
I have my own law—
Public Law 829, "The Flag Code"
- which definitely states my correct use
and display for all occasions and situations.

I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14
 is set aside to honor my birth.
I am the sacred emblem of your country.
 I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of
liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.
I am your title deed of freedom,
 which is yours to enjoy and
hold in trust for posterity.
If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate,
if I am nullified and destroyed,
you and your children will become
slaves to dictators and despots.
Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
As you see me silhouetted against
 the peaceful skies of my country,
remind yourself that I am the flag
of your country,
 that I stand for what you are -
no more, no less.
Guard me well, lest your freedom
perish from the earth.

 Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand:

 "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

I was created in freedom.
I made my first appearance in a battle for human liberty.
God grant that I may spend eternity in my
"land of the free and the home of the brave"
and that I shall ever be known as "Old Glory," the flag
of the United States of America

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The Flag should be displayed on all days,
especially . . . .

New Years Day Jan. 1st
Inauguration Day Jan. 20
President’s Day Third Mon. in Feb.
Easter Sunday
Mothers Day 2nd Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day May 18
Memorial Day (observed) Last
Mon. in May.(half-staff until noon)
Memorial Day May 30
Flag Day June 14
Independence Day July 4th
Labor Day Sept. 2nd
Constitution Day Sept. 17
Columbus Day 2nd Mon. in Oct.
Navy Day Oct. 27
There are only two places authorized by law to fly the flag
every day 24 hours per day--the Capitol and Fort McHenry
(birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner).


Old Glory

Flag Etiquette

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The Music Playing is
The Star Spamgle Banner
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