Real Meaning of the Star Spangled Banner

October 3, 2017
by Staff Reports

From Bill Gray:

The Liberal Left is continuing to share false and fake information in an attempt to support Colin Kaepernick and all the athletes who are spitting on the American flag, the American National Anthem, and all the brave Americans who have served and died defending that flag and our freedoms.

Recently I watched a video created by some group called “Unstripped Voice” and posted by a young man on Facebook.  The video begins with Colin attempting to justify his anger at the America which made him a rich man for playing a game.  The poor soul – being forced to play a game and earn millions of dollars doing it.

This video shares one falsehood after another – starting with the reason for the War of 1812, when the National Anthem was written.   The video was “Reality Check with Ben Swann.”  In the video this commentator states that the War of 1812 was fought because America was attempting to take Canada from Britain.

FALSE. 

The immediate causes of the War of 1812 were a series of economic sanctions taken by the British and French against the US as part of the Napoleonic Wars and American outrage at the British practice of impressment (the British capturing American sailors and forcing them into service in the British Navy, especially after the Chesapeake incident of 1807.   In response to the 1806 British Orders in Council, which crippled American trade, the US (under Jefferson) first tried various retaliatory embargoes.  These embargoes hurt the US far more than they did Britain, angering American citizens and providing support to War Hawks in Congress like Henry Clay.   In 1812, with President Madison in office, Congress declared war against the British.   (The War of 1812 [1809-1815] – http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/warof1812/summary.html)

And another attempt to create fake facts was when the commentator tells us that the lyrics in verse 3 which says “No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave”
– was speaking of black slaves.

FALSE.

What did that part of verse 3 really mean?   You will read this below when you read all the National Anthem verses and explanations of what was truly meant in those words written by Francis Scott Key.  But, here let me give you a preview at the true meaning of those contested words:

The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence

The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “…and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a Important cause of the War of 1812

Below are the full lyrics of the National Anthem and an explanation of each verse:

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics and Meanings
Star Spangled Banner Lyrics – By Linda Alchin
http://www.american-historama.org/1801-1828-evolution/star-spangled-banner-lyrics.htm

Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 1

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?

Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 1

The flag that flew over the fort was enormous. The commander of Fort Henry, Important George Armistead had commissioned Mary Pickersgill to make “a flag so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance”
The flag could be seen from several miles away and Francis Scott Key was saying that it could be seen in the last light before nightfall and the first light at dawn
The ‘perilous fight’ was the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812
The Star Spangled Banner was streaming over the ramparts (battlements) of the fort
The “rocket’s red glare” and the “bombs bursting” used alliteration to describe the cannon fire pounding from the British navy and the cannons firing from the fort (one of the ships was armed with a rocket launcher)
The angry red glow from the cannon fire enabled Americans to see their Star Spangled Banner was still flying – the British had not captured the fort and hoisted the Union Jack
The Star Spangled Banner was waving over the ‘land of the free’ – a reference to the fight for Independence that had resulted in freedom from the tyranny of the British
The ‘home of the brave’ lyrics reflect the heroic exploits of Americans to defend their country
The War of 1812 was popularly known as the ‘Second War for Independence’

Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 2

On the shore, dimly seen through 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 in the stream:

‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 2

Francis Scott Key was describing the perspective from the land as American looked out to hazy images of the British ships
The ‘foe’s haughty host’ lyrics describe the vessels of the arrogant British
The lyrics ‘dread silence reposes’ express the view of the ships that look quiet and still as if resting, but are actually a hive of terrifying activity
Francis Scott Key describes the high vertical position of the flag over Fort Henry in the lyrics ‘o’er the towering steep’ and the movement of the flag blowing in the wind, concealing then revealing the Star Spangled Banner
The sun comes out and clearly shines on the Star Spangled Banner, ‘in full glory’ lyrics express the grandeur of the flag and a religious connotation
Francis Scott Key almost makes the Star Spangled Banner lyrics ‘cheer’ using the patriotic words “Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 3

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 washed 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!

Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 3

Francis Scott Key describes the British as arrogant and boastful in the lyrics ‘that band who so vauntingly swore’
He is venting his anger at the British with the “foul footsteps’ pollution” lyrics inferring that the British poisoned the ground on which they walked
But the poison and corruption had been washed away by the blood of the British
The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence
The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “…and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a Important cause of the War of 1812
Francis Scott Key then describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity

Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 4

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n 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!

Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 4

Pride and Patriotism is the theme of the last verse
Francis Scott Key uses emotive words such as ‘freeman’, ‘home’, ‘blest’, ‘victory’, ‘triumph’, ‘conquer’ and ‘peace’ in the Star Spangled Banner lyrics
He was a deeply religious man and his words reflect his belief that God was on the side of the Americans
He refers to the American nation and fighting for a just cause
The words “In God is our trust” combines the concepts of religion and patriotism and are believed to be the origin of the official motto of the United States “In God we trust”. The unofficial motto of ‘E pluribus unum’ which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created in 1782

I  pray this gives you a better understanding of OUR National Anthem, the flag which it honors, and the men who have fought and died to protect it and our freedom – going back to the War of 1812 when the song was written to honor the brave men at Fort McHenry in Baltimore who withstood the British invasion and keep Old Glory flying.

God bless America, our nation and our people,

Bill Gray

: News

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