The National Anthem: A Moment of Solemn Sacredness

There has never been a nation that has made it possible for so much to have been done for so many within such a short period of time! Although many have sought to diminish its meaning and even destroy the very nation it represents, the flag of the United States of America and the National Anthem shall never be diminished nor defamed by those who do not understand its significance.

With all due respect to the men and women who have fought and died to keep this nation free and independent, I must take a moment to reflect upon what it means to have reverence for those things that actually mean so much: God, country and family. Each of these are also reflective of what the great symbols also represent, and inspires moments of solemn sacredness whenever they are presented. To illustrate a sincere respect reminds us how blessed we truly are even as Americans, and motivates some of us to go above and beyond common citizenship and seek to serve in the greatest military force the world has ever seen.

Growing up in a small southern Texas town during the final and last dying gasps of racial segregation still had not dampened the strong feelings of pride within me and my fellow schoolmates at the all-black Henry O. Tanner Elementary School in Brazoria. Attending this school during the early to mid-sixties just as much of a process for preparing young black kids for life in America as it was for academic education. The teachers and the community worked together to prepare us for citizenship even more so that our white counterparts because we were taught that “all people were created equal by God” … no exceptions. We knew that even as black people, we were full-fledged citizens in spite of the circumstances created by segregation and racist ideology.

One of the things we were taught was to respect the flag of the United States of America—Old Glory. At Henry O. Tanner Elementary School, the male students were taught how to care for the flag. We learned how to raise it on the flag pole in the morning, and lower it at the end of the school day. We were taught how to fold it with a care and reverence that somewhat felt that God himself with whack us across the bottom if we were to start horseplay and carelessly cause it to touch the ground. Then we would take it to the principal’s office where it was stored, and after careful inspection by Mrs. Cooper, would give her nod of approval (or disapproval) to place it in its proper place. If it was not folded correctly or to her liking, she would command refolding. But the flag meant something to us—something I would call sacred.

All students were taught and learned the Pledge of Allegiance, and when it was recited every morning, we faced the flag, placed our right hands over our hearts and recited it faithfully. And finally, we learned to sing the National Anthem. During school assemblies in the auditorium, it was played over a record player as we stood with our hands over our hearts and sang to the music. It also meant a great deal to us because it again affirmed our rights as citizens of this nation, in spite of what segregation and racist policies sought to tell us. Along with the church, the school and the community, we withstood all social and cultural negativity as both the cross and the flag stood as symbols for who we were as a people.

Although we were journeying through times when not just white cops, but practically any white man in general could possibly get away with any crime against a black person of his choosing, it was never a thought to blame Old Glory or the nation it represented. Even the protests against racial segregation during the era of the civil rights movement were peaceful, but extremely dangerous! The protesters of that era were many times more courageous that those we see dishonoring the American flag today is the sports world. What is their greatest penalty—losing millions of dollars?

For the majority of blacks as well as any people of any race or color in America, the presentation National Anthem and the respect for the flag is a solemn, sacred moment. It is the time and opportunity for ALL of us to join together as One nation under God, and gratefully cherish the freedom that we enjoy.

The Christian Post