Standing Up For The Anthem

Lately there has been an issue in the media that has turned a pleasant Sunday afternoon into a battleground.

NFL players are “taking a knee” to protest our country’s National Anthem.

Why?

Because in one stanza the word “slave” appears?

Apparently so.

The problem is that those who are “taking a knee” and protesting this poem are actually acting in direct opposition to what that stanza, and indeed the whole song, really means.

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 footstep’s 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.

This song is about the North winning the war and triumphing over Southern insistence on continuing their way of life. Through the most horrible war, through death and blood freedom won.

“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?”

This is almost mocking in the asking. The South swore they would secede before giving up slavery and their way of life. They would break up this country through war and secession first.

Well they lost.

“Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution”

Meaning, all of the Southern blood spilled was recompense for the life they were living on the backs of the slaves. The North was fighting for the end of slavery and freedom for everyone.

“No refuge could save the hireling and slave”

Before the war there was no place safe for slaves. They faced the dangers of escape where they were hunted down by men with dogs. Slaves were slaves until they died; hence “or the gloom of the grave”

“And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave”

But the North won. Now the South was also free. Part of “the land of the free and the home of the brave”

Through all adversity and against all odds the North won and Slavery was abolished. Where once in the South there was nothing but bondage or death for slaves, through war and bloodshed and death, the Northern objective was won.

This anthem is the heartfelt outpouring of joy and pride and relief of a man who witnessed the terrors of war and suddenly it was over. The North had won, slavery was over and that tattered, damaged, beautiful flag; that symbol of freedom for all, still bravely flew.

Where once a who people were subjugated to bondage and treated like animals, where there was no place they could hide, no “refuge” that could save them and where they faced this existence until at last they were lowered into their graves. They were now free.

The spilled blood of their former Masters was payment for the horrible practice of owning others.

It was over.

The North had won.

We were one land.

Not broken up.

Slavery was no more.

Now we truly were “The land of the free and the home of the brave.”

This anthem is the shout of victory over slavery. It was the joyful fist pump, “were are your brave threats now, South?”

This song celebrates the Northern victory against Southern determination to keep slaves in bondage.

Every time someone “takes a knee” to protest against this ode to freedom they are completely misunderstanding and disrespecting what it stands for.

It was a shout of freedom for those who had no choices but the terrors of attempted escape or a life in bondage until death and the gloom of the grave.

The Anthem was one man’s way of expressing his relief and joy that the war was over and the North had won.

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand,
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved 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.

So stand. “Free men shall stand”

Blessed with victory, thanks to God’s help this rescued land is now free. Free because the North was given an ultimatum; war or secession but the South was keeping it’s Slaves.

“Then conquer we must, when our cause is just.”

Challenge accepted.

And won.

Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty…

Free men shall stand.

And that flag in triumph shall wave.

Over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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