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The Rocketís Red Glare
In Defense of the Faith
Thursday, October 19, 2017
J.L. Robb

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.

Before the Star Spangled Banner was a song, it was a poem: Defence of Fort M’Henry.

Fort McHenry, located in Baltimore Harbor, came under extreme bombardment in what many consider the second Revolutionary War, the War of 1812. This battle was only a few weeks after the British burned the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s home.

The British navy’s bombardment lasted all day and night, 25 hours, September 13-September 14, 1812.

Britain’s military, considered superior to the fledgling United States’, suffered a startling defeat. The writer of what became known as the National Anthem, Francis Scott Key, watched the bombardment from beginning to end, and was absolutely certain the young nation would not make it. It would take a miracle.

Prior to this turn of events, Key had rendezvoused with a British ship in an attempt to gain the release of a friend who had been arrested. Upon the release, the British could not allow them to leave. They knew too much.

From the deck of their ship, Francis Scott Key watched and recorded what he saw as the battle began, 8 miles away. A symphony of red and orange filled the air as rockets and bombs fell on Fort McHenry.

The story of the United States national anthem and flag go hand-in-hand and actually began about a year earlier than Key’s poem.

Major George Armistead was the commander of Fort McHenry and knew his command was probably a target of the Brits. He decided he needed a flag, a really big flag, a flag large enough the British would have no trouble seeing from a distance.

“We, sir, are ready at Fort McHenry to defend Baltimore against invading by the enemy…except that we have no suitable ensign to display over the Star Fort, and it is my desire to have a flag so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance."

According to Smithsonian.com:

Armistead soon hired a 29-year-old widow and professional flagmaker, Mary Young Pickersgill to make a garrison flag measuring 30 by 42 feet with 15 stars and 15 stripes (each star and stripe representing a state). A large flag, but one not unusual for the time. Over the next six weeks, Mary, her daughter, three of Mary's nieces, a 13-year-old indentured servant and possibly Mary's mother Rebecca Young worked 10-hour days sewing the flag, using 300 yards of English wool bunting. They made the stars, each measuring two feet in diameter, from cotton—a luxury item at the time.

The U.S. flag was so large and hung so high, it was reported to be the last sight that faded at dusk and the first sight, visible at dawn.

Verse 1:

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?

There has been a lot of glaring lately over the flag and the national anthem, but it’s not red-rocket glare. It is the glare of American citizens boycotting professional football, and now basketball and hockey. It is the glare of veterans watching teachers teach their students how to disrespect the very symbols that has given them the freedom to kneel instead of stand out of respect. It is the glare of active duty soldiers, dodging bullets and bombs bursting in air, every day. They don’t get paid $3,000,000 a year like the oppressed protesters. They are fortunate to make $35,000.

When someone claims that the United States was not founded on the principles of biblical teaching, they need to dig out the U.S. history books or read the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner, the banner that Francis Scott Key saw hanging after the bombardment, rather than a Union Jack. They would need to get an old history book where God and Christian and Jew can actually be mentioned with truth.

What does Verse 1 of the national anthem mean?

Oh, 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 thru the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light

At the early light of dawn, the flag was so large, it was the first thing the British could see at the edge of dawn.

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

Key was indicating that the flag was the last thing seen as twilight approached.

Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,

Key’s perilous fight became the Battle of Baltimore during War of 1812.

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

 The flag was so large it streamed over the fortifications of Fort McHenry.

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

From the deck of his ship, Key was both mesmerized and terrified at the fire and cross fire as the sky lit up with the explosion of bombs, rockets and cannon fire.

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

The red glare from the explosions made the still-hanging U.S. flag still hanging.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

The Star Spangled Banner was battered but undefeated as freedom from England reigned over the land, just like it had in 1776 when Washington fought the Revolutionary War.

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

The brave were the same then as the brave today, those who are willing to lay down their lives for the benefit of others, for little money or no money.

Soldiers are brave. Firefighters are brave. Paramedics are brave. Policemen are brave. The Apostles were brave.

Football players making millions of oppressed dollars a year, who kneel in intentional disrespect to God and country, are not brave. They are cowards and narcissists; and of course, they are victims.

There are other verses of The Star Spangled Banner, and the meanings of each are spelled out here. If you know a kneeler, please send them the link.

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:

'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 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 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!

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"

About J.L. Robb

Last week: The Devil's Seed



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