November 19

Johnny Cash Pays Tribute to Old Glory with “Ragged Old Flag”

A proud American, Johnny Cash is known for his patriotic songs, talking about heroism and love of country. In fact, before he became the “Man in Black” that he was well-known to be, he served the nation as a part of the military. As such, his respect for the Old Glory – the American Flag – was immense, dedicating a song for such a sacred emblem.

His love and admiration for the nation’s flag were embodied in his single, “Ragged Old Flag.” Cash composed and wrote the patriotic tune himself in 1974 for his album of the same title. Sung in spoken-word style, “Ragged Old Flag” speaks of true patriotism as citizens of the nation.

The “Ragged Old Flag”

Dissecting the song, the narrator says something to a man about the town courthouse flag looking old and ragged. In response, the man answers the narrator that despite the flag’s look, he is proud of the flag anyway.

In detail, he points out about the journey the flag had been through over the years. He said that the “ragged old flag” crossed the state of Delaware with Washington and it was even burned by protesters.

For over the years that it had been through, that flag had undergone and witnessed most of the history of America!

Check out Cash singing “Ragged Old Flag” live. Hats off to Johnny Cash for creating such a patriotic hymn!

The Story Behind the Song

In an attempt to revive patriotism in the country, Cash got inspired to craft the song following the Watergate scandal. Also, other songs on the same album aimed to address other relevant topics. It includes “Don’t Go Near the Water,” which Cash penned to talk about the environmental issues at the time.

Throughout time, the song’s poignant message remains to be as powerful as when it was written. Even in 2017, prior to Super Bowl LI in Texas, Fox Sport aired a patriotic clip that used “Ragged Old Flag” as its theme song.

Overall, the video together with Cash’s song made a magical work of art that is certainly touching.

Check out and be moved by this wonderful clip:


Don't Go near the Water, Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag

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