Betsy Ross and the Stars and Stripes;

Francis Scott Key and “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

In 1776, at the birth of the United States, a commission made up of George Washington, Colonel George Ross and Robert Morris, who was the Superintendent of fiances of the American Revolution, visited Mrs. Betsy Ross at her home in Philadelphia. They asked her to make the first United States Flag. This flag is the symbol of a godly nation. It was designed by George Washington, a Believer and patriot; and first made by Betsy Ross, also a Believer. George Washington, Robert Morris and Betsy Ross attended “the nation’s church” in Philadelphia. Their family pews, bearing their names, still stand. This church is called “the nation’s church” because many of the founding fathers worshiped God there.
On September 14, 1814, another zealous patriot, Francis Scott Key, wrote a beautiful poem about the flag, from an inn in Baltimore harbor. The poem’s last stanza shows clearly in whom we place our trust as Americans: “…Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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.
These magnificent words were put to the inspiring music of John Stafford Smith (c. 1780).1 United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote that he “admired Francis Scott Key for his brilliant genius, and loved him for his many virtues.”2 The author of our Star-Spangled Banner wrote that “the patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in his greatest darkness, ‘a lantern to his feet and a lamp unto his paths’*…He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation…”3
On March 3, 1931, the Star-Spangled Banner was made America’s national anthem by Act of Congress.4 On October 21, 1892, Francis Bellamy, a preacher of the Gospel, ordained in the Baptist Church of Little Falls, New York, wrote a pledge of allegiance to America’s flag – the Star-Spangled Banner.5
On February 7, 1954, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife attended the Lincoln Day Observance Service at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. The sermon topic was, one nation “under God.” So moved was President Eisenhower by these immortalized words coming from Abraham Lincoln’s famed Gettysburg Address, that he had the words, one nation “under God,” put into the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag. This took place by Act of Congress on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.6

QUESTIONS

1. How does the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States, and the National Anthem show allegiance to Almighty God?
2. What consistent acknowledgement on the part of this nation’s great heroes is evident throughout history, from 1776 to 1954?

ASSIGNMENT
Memorize the following lines of the National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”: “…Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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.

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Bibloiography:

*Psalm 119:105

1

Hearings before Subcommittee No. 4 of the Committee of the Judiciary, 85th Congress, 2nd Session. May 21, 22 and 28, 1958, p. 6.

2

Key, Francis Scott. Poems of the Late Francis S. Key, Esq., with an introductory Letter by Chief Justice R.B. Taney. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1857, p. 28. Library of Congress, Rare Book Collection.

3

Key, Francis Scott. An Oration, delivered by Francis S. Key, Esq. before the Washington Society of Alexandria, February 22, p. 9. Library of Congress, Rare Book Collection.

4

Hearings before Subcommittee No. 4 of the Committee of the Judiciary, 85th Congress, 2nd Session. May 21, 22 and 28, 1958, p. 6.

5

Ibid., p. 135.

6

Ibid., p. 138.

 

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