Relive This Moving Super Bowl LIV Tribute to the American Flag
Every year, the Super Bowl is among the most-watched television events. It’s a sporting event akin to a holiday, when people across the country stock up on party food, invite their friends over and tune in for the game. Even if you’re not particularly a fan of either team, it’s an iconic event worth watching—especially for the halftime show.
On February 2, 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers met on the field to compete for the Lombardi Trophy. It was a hard-fought, interesting game right up to the very end, and the Kansas City Chiefs ultimately walked away as the victors.
But while the game itself was one for the storybooks, what captivated many people was the moving video tribute to the American flag on display at this event.
Tribute to the American Flag Was Awe-Inspiring
During the video, the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient—Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter—was featured, along with video clips of historical battles, Ground Zero and the families of 9/11 victims. As the video played, a recording of Johnny Cash's "Ragged Old Flag" played in the background.
In-between spoken portions and recitation of "Ragged Old Flag," images of the American flag filled the screen and provided a patriotic view for all to see and truly embrace. The video also featured "The First Ladies of the NFL," the owner wives of the NFL teams who spoke about the American flag. They expressed a deep appreciation for its meaningfulness and importance.
This awe-inspiring tribute was a simple, heartfelt way to take the attention away from the football game and the festivities, to remind everyone of how important our patriotism is. As we gather together in the land of the free and the home of the brave to watch a sporting event, we do so because of those who have chosen to defend those freedoms.
Lyrics to “Ragged Old Flag”
To understand the power and sentiment behind this American flag tribute, you might want to reflect on the words of “Ragged Old Flag,” and the history encapsulated within those lyrics. They’re a gateway into exactly what the tribute is for, and why it’s so important.
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there
I said, your old courthouse is kinda run down
He said, naw, it'll do for our little town
I said, your old flagpole has leaned a little bit
And that's a ragged old flag you got hanging on it
He said, have a seat, and I sat down
Is this the first time you've been to our little town?
I said, I think it is
He said, I don't like to brag
But we're kinda proud of that ragged old flag
You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when
Washington took it across the Delaware
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing say can you see
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams
And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg
And the south wind blew hard on that ragged old flag
On Flanders field in World War one
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun
She turned blood red in World War Two
She hung limp and low a time or two
She was in Korea and Vietnam
She went where she was sent by Uncle Sam
She waved from our ships upon the Briny foam
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home
In her own good land here she's been abused
She's been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused
And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more
So, we raise her up every morning
We take her down every night
We don't let her touch the ground and we fold her up right
On second thought, I do like to brag
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag
Patriotism Has a Firm Place in the NFL
For decades, the National Football League (NFL) has had a healthy relationship with patriotism—from flyovers before games, to flag tributes, to military service appreciation events. This sentiment is embodied by the players, who can often be seen standing tall, tears in their eyes, mouthing the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" before every game.
This proud display of patriotism isn’t overlooked by the crowd, either. As attendees sit in their seats and wait for the game to begin, they can look upon our nation's flag with love and appreciation for our country. They stand for the national anthem and cheer as fireworks and flyovers personify the patriotism that so evident in sports culture.
Patriotism is and always will be at the forefront of the NFL and American sports. The American flag tribute at Super Bowl LIV is just one more demonstration of how deeply entwined the two are.
Supporting American Sports Teams Brings Us Together as a Country
As you watch the game on television or sit in a crowded stadium waiting for your team to hit the field, look around you. You’re surrounded by individuals who share a common interest as American sports fans. It doesn't matter what your sport of choice is, you’re gathering with those who love American sports as much as you do! Add in the patriotic aspect and you have a pastime that brings individuals together as a country—and provides an entertainment option that’s deeply rooted in American spirit.
If you missed the Super Bowl LIV Tribute to the American Flag, you can view it here. We highly recommend it—it’s a powerful video.
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