I’ve been dubious about The National Anthem and our flag, for several years now…having been stunned to learn the Anthem’s racists verses (the ones we never sing…) and having been deeply impressed by the “Take a Knee” movement regarding the flag.
(“America The Beautiful,” and This Land…” are both better choices, imho…)
But this morning, as Lady Gaga sang “…our flag was still there,” as her voice crescendoed upward, she turned and looked upward too…and gestured toward the actual flag flying over the actual Capitol Building. I have also just now realized, looking for the video, that several networks missed the moment! Here’s the best video I’ve found. (check out the 2:10 mark and following…)
I am sure I am not alone when my thoughts quickly flashed to two weeks ago…
…as a Confederate battle flag waved through our Capitol Building (for the first time in history…)
…as insurrectionists tried to take down the American flag, and put up a Trump flag.
But my also thoughts flashed to today…
…as Women, Blacks, and South Asian Americans are now forever folded in to the very heights of executive power for the first time in our history.
All of this flashed before my eyes,this happened, as Gaga sang and gestured. I fell into heaving tears.
“My God…our flag is still there…” and…
“My God…it almost wasn’t….” and…
“My God…that all REALLY HAPPENED, just two weeks ago…”
President Biden later said “Democracy has prevailed.”
Years from now — when we read those words — we must never forget that “Democracy has prevailed” was no hollow rhetorical flourish.
This is literal truth. For a few horrific hours, this was an open question. But, Democracy has prevailed.
And as tarnished as the legacy of our flag is — as genuinely dubious as the Anthem always will be — that flag is more “our flag” today than it’s ever been in the 200-plus year history of our nation.
This day was both symbol, and embodiment, of the hard work before us all, still.
But, thank God.
Democracy has prevailed.