Coastal Post Online


May, 2003

Moo Town News
By Judy Borello

"Ragged Old Flag"
This poem is dedicated to Brad Jensen, the Tomales High School student who bravely and the courage of his convictions to stand alone with a sign held supporting the British and American troops while 50 Tomales High students protested the war in front of Diekman's Store. Brad Jensen stood apart and alone from his teenage peers and demonstrated great courage to do so. To buck the tide as a teenager with peer pressure upon you took a great amount of strong independent spirit and that's what this county was founded on. Whether you're for the war or against the war, you have to admire the person who stands alone flying his colors amidst the surrounding opposition.
"Ragged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash
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 seems.
"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 I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II.
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She was sent where she was by her 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, 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,
1974 House of Cash, Inc.
Also, I admire the man Ken Grundre of Mesa Road in Point Reyes Station who went home while 150 demonstrators marched through the business district of Point Reyes Station, grabbed his American flag and marched into the demonstrators, incensed that the marchers were shutting down the businesses in the district.
Then the news that night showed a couple in Contra Costa County displayed an American flag on their house with a sign supporting Bush and the troops. It was over a hundred feet from the street enclosed by a fence (private property). Some demonstrators crossed his property, tore down the flag, and smeared over his house and sign the word "Fascist." Then to top it off, they dumped oil all over his lawn. Now you tell me who the "Fascists" are?
I am so grateful to have been born and raised in America where you can excel as a person and a woman. Not so in many other countries. In spite of her faults (America's), which I criticize, I love her still!


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