By David Anderson
No, the original – nor any – version of The Star-Spangled Banner, also known as the national anthem of the United States, did not – and had not until Lady Gaga changed it – end that way.
Until this past Friday night.
It was the New York City’s gay pride celebration kick off – which has some ticked off – in which Gaga “amend(ed) some of the famous lyrics to fit the occasion on the heels of the Supreme Court’s two gay marriage rulings.
“Gaga sang at the end, ‘O say does that star-spangled flag of pride yet wave’ and then substituted ‘land of the free, and the home for the gay’ instead of ‘home of the brave.’”
During the “broad stripes and bright stars” portion, Gaga held aloft a rainbow flag – broad stripes but no stars. Enough that Gaga is a star given the crowd’s reaction.
That Gaga clutched to her chest the many-more-colored-flag of the gays than the traditional red-white-and-blue of other Americans in this home of the brave, recalls the incident where another star by the name of Roseanne Barr grabbed her crotch – as if adjusting a protective cup – a gesture, including spitting, to the ball players at a San Diego Padres baseball game at Jack Murphy Stadium on July 25, 1990 where “the comedienne belted out a screechy rendition of the (National Anthem).”
Usual hand position for usual national anthem renditions when the usual stars and stripes are raised, according to United States Code, states that “all present should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart (and) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note.”
Even if the flag is not present, when the national anthem is played, “all present should act in the same manner they would as if the flag were displayed and face the music.”
Face the music. Honor the flag. The United States flag. All Americans. With pride. Proud to live in the home of the brave. The brave. At attention. Saluting from start to finish or the right hand held over the heart.
Whether the American flag is envisioned by the dawn’s early light flying triumphantly above Fort McHenry which inspired amateur poet Francis Scott Key to put pen to paper thus framing our national anthem; or the original – all fifteen stars and fifteen stripes – is viewed in respectful silence on a visit to the Smithsonian Institution where it is on display, the flag – the Iwo-Jima flag; the blood-bought red, white and blue flag; this and every Independence Day flag; this flag of all Americans: is a national treasure.
And should be treated, respected, saluted accordingly.
Image Source: www.montney.com/marine/iwo.htm%5B/caption%5D