Though Tattered – Our Flag Still Stands

Tattered Flag

Tattered Flag

The story of our tattered flag standing after the British bombarded it mercilessly is epitomized in the poem Francis Scott Key penned.

“Francis Scott Key penned America’s national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. The song, originally a poem, titled ‘The Defense of Fort McHenry’ was written after Key witnessed the British bombard the Maryland fort during the War of 1812. Key was moved and inspired at the sight of the lone U.S. flag flying high over Fort McHenry amidst the rubble and destruction.”

“The poem was later set to the music of a popular tune by composer John Stafford Smith called ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’. The song became very popular after the Civil War with patriotism at a high.  People started referring to the tune as the ‘Star Spangled Banner’.”

“In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared that the song should be played at all official events. On March 31, 1931, Congress declared the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ as the national anthem of the United States of America.”1

Hearts for Liberty

Though the standing flag was tattered, the patriots made sure it still stood. The British had said they could surrender at any time by lowering the flag. For Liberty, the flag must still stand sure and steadfast. Here are the words of Francis Scott Key’s poem that was set to music and later became our country’s anthem.

Complete Accurate Text of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” originally “In Defence of Fort McHenry”
by Francis Scott Key

O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through 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 through 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 in the stream:
‘Tis 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 washed 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 loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it 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!2

Story in Video

This video is able to tell the story better than I can. It is eleven minutes long and tells the story of our tattered flag, the valiant men guarding our shores, and of our song for liberty. I hope you are both encouraged and inspired by this story of a tattered flag still standing because of the sacrifice of brave men.

Star Spangled Banner as You’ve Never Heard It


“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city the watchman keeps awake in vain.” ~Psalm 127:1 NASB

Every nation has good leaders and bad leaders, but the Lord is still the Lord of All. We can pray for our nation and for the people and nations of the world. Praying for the Nations – Strength with Dignity


Trials of All Kinds for People of Faith Trials of All Kinds for People of Faith – Strength with Dignity


1 Who Owns the Copyright to the National Anthem? Retrieved February 10, 2022, from Who Owns the Copyright to the National Anthem? | Suiter Swantz IP

2 Complete Accurate Text of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Retrieved February 10, 2022, from Complete Accurate Text of “The Star-Spangled Banner” | Star Spangled Music

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Photo Credit: Sarah Rogers. The Great Garrison Flag. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from The Great Garrison Flag – Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (U.S. National Park Service) (

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10 thoughts on “Though Tattered – Our Flag Still Stands”

      1. Yes, the story of the Star-Spangled Banner is so interesting, Barb! I think it’s fun how the Lord will touch several people to cover the same topic. And because we each approach it a little differently, they fit together as pieces of a puzzle, forming the whole picture. We need each piece to see the whole.

  1. Great post! I live about two miles from Francis Scott Key’s family home in Maryland. So much around here is named for him – including my town, Keymar, and the nearby village Keysville. I’ve been to Fort McHenry and it’s quite moving.

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