A Plea for Freedom: The History of the Star-Spangled Banner Should Keep Protestors on Their Feet

So let's take a minute to know what we're protesting. Shall we?

You know, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is something that is always performed with vim and vigor and boast. And the Millennial Orchestra & Choir, I did a project with them. It's called To Be An American. And it's a collection of American songs.

And I told them the story of some of these songs, like "The Star-Spangled Banner." And it's not a boastful song. It is a song that really is pensive and calls each American to ask themselves, "Is this going to last another day?"

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was first recognized as our national anthem --- but not officially --- by Woodrow Wilson, in 1916.

Congress didn't make it our official national anthem until the 1930s, I think '31. Before that, it was "Hail, Columbia," which, ooh, that's a bad song. Also, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," which is "God Save the Queen." We just took their music and replaced the lyrics.

So this is something that is relatively new. It's 100 years old, as our national anthem. And not even officially. One hundred years ago out of 228, 100 years ago, we decided, yep, that's us.

But we misinterpret the whole thing. If you actually listen to "The Star-Spangled Banner" you hear a different story entirely. You have to understand that this is the War of 1812. And Washington is on fire. And Francis Scott Key goes out, and he's on a mission for President James Madison.

And he goes out to a ship where they're holding a couple of prisoners. They're American prisoners.

The British are holding them on a ship. One of them is a famous doctor at the time, who is accused of getting a bunch of British rounded up and arrested.

And so Francis Scott Key, on an official --- under a flag of truce, goes on board this British ship and says, "Hey, we want to exchange prisoners." Well, during dinner, they start talking about an attack that they're going to do. And this attack that they're now planning, Francis Scott Key and his partner hear --- and the captain of the ship realizes, "I can't let you guys go because now you're going to tell your side. You're going to tell the Americans. So you have to stay on the ship until this battle is over."

So in a story that seems to becoming more and more impossible for me to tell, they're in the ship. And they're watching the battle over Fort McHenry. And they are seeing the rockets. And they're seeing a small flag over the fort. And it's the battle flag. It's not the big one. It's a small one.

And they're watching this through the night. Now, the next morning, they don't know if there's going to be a country left. So as they're watching this, they are peering through the slats of the ship in the portholes. They're hearing the battle rage on. And they are staying up and trying to stay awake. And all they're doing is watching that little teeny banner:

O 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 through the perilous fight, over the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.  And the rockets' red glare and the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

They only knew that they were still a country, that Fort McHenry was still there and still operating and the fight was still going on when there was an explosion because there was nothing lighting up that flag. It was just the rockets' red glare. It was just the explosions and the fire that allowed them to see that that little, teeny flag was still flying:

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 or 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. It is the Star-Spangled Banner. And long may it wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In the morning, the first thing they did when they opened their eyes, if they had been able to shut their eyes, was to look for that flag:

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 of their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hirling and the slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave. And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave.

O thus be it forever when free men shall stand. Between their loved homes and their war's desolation. Blessed with victory and peace, may the heaven's rescued land praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause is just. And this be our motto: In God is our trust. And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

You know, most people don't know and, in fact, I would guarantee you that everyone who is taking a knee at the Star-Spangled Banner has never heard the sixth stanza. We know there's five.

Those are all printed. Did you know that"The Star Spangled Banner" added a sixth stanza? It's 1861. And this is added:

When our land is illuminated with liberty's smile, if a foe from within strike a blow at her glory, down, down with the traitor that dares to defile the flag of her stars and the page of her story. By the millions unchained, who our birthright have gained, we will keep her bright, blazing forever, unstained. And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave, while the end of the free is the home of the brave.

Tell me that this doesn't stand for freedom for all.

Our ignorance of our own history. Our arrogance that has taken a story and turned it into nothing, but something that proceeds the cheer after "play ball" is shouted.

I promise you now, if we do not reconnect with our history, both the good and the bad --- if we throw the baby out with the bathwater, the plea that is "The Star-Spangled Banner" --- it is not boastful. It is not about war. It is a plea.

I promise you, if we don't reconnect with both the good and the bad and make peace with both the good and the bad, it will not be too long before we get up in the morning and we ask sincerely, "Does the flag still wave? Is it still there? Are we still America? Has it been taken down? Has it been lost overnight?"

This article is based on Glenn's radio monologue delivered on August 24, 2017.

Thirty years ago, the world was a much different place and journalists used to be brave. On his latest podcast, Glenn Beck was joined by one of the few who still is, and you've never seen him like this. Before he was on Fox News, Tucker Carlson built an impressive career writing for some of the biggest names in American journalism. But now, the corporate media "journalists," or as Tucker prefers, "the Praetorian Guard for the ruling class," have abandoned their principles in favor of political goals.

"My dad was a journalist. My great-grandfather was the publisher of the Dallas Morning News. I grew up around journalists my whole life. I mean, that's the world I grew up in. That's why I went into it," Tucker told Glenn. "So, that's one of the reasons I hate [today's journalists] so much. It's a personal offense. The worst people have gone into it, just the technocratic, dishonest, careerist, stupid cowards. I mean, you're supposed to be brave. ... These people are just such wuss bags. I hate them."

Asked by Glenn if he believes today's journalists are only interested in ratings or something worse, Tucker answered, "They're the Praetorian Guard for the ruling class. They've inverted the most basic rule of journalism, which is hold the powerful accountable. And now they're all working for some oligarch. Steve Jobs' idiot widow owns the Atlantic. Jeff Bezos owns ... the Washington Post. The New York Times is essentially owned by its subscribers, who are every nonprofit executive on the Upper West Side.

"They're trying to protect what they feel is slipping away, which is their control over the country. And the thing they hate most, of course, is democracy. The idea of voters, the working class having power, completely freaks them out. I mean, completely."

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You continue to astound us all! On Wednesday, Glenn set a monumental goal of raising $20 million in 48 hours and we are almost there.

You are the audience that may just save the world.

You can donate online HERE.

Here are all the ways you can donate:

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Chief Operating Officer of the Nazarene Fund, Rudy Atlallah, joined Glenn Beck in the radio program to detail a dangerous mission his team is about to attempt in order to save the lives of thousands of Christians hiding and trapped in Afghanistan.

Since December 2015, the Nazarene Fund has worked to rescue Christians and other religious minorities from persecution and slavery in the Middle East. Now, as the world watches the Taliban's violent takeover in Afghanistan, the nonprofit is gearing up to extract approximately 5,000 people, mostly women and children, out of Afghanistan before it is too late. But they need our help.

On Wednesday morning, Glenn urged his audience to "give until it hurts," setting the nearly "impossible" goal of raising $20 million by Friday.

"Every single penny that you can come up with will go to flying those planes and getting those people out. We need, obviously, an enormous amount of money," Glenn said. "These are people that are marked for death for what they believe in. This is why we started the Nazarene Fund. Don't wait around for anyone else to do it. Don't wait around. Please, go to The Nazarene Fund.org and donate. ... We need your help as soon as possible. I ask that you would give until it hurts today, because these people are entirely alone. And they will be crucified, if you are marked as a Christian, with the Taliban. You know what will happen to them. We can get them out. Be an Oskar Schindler today. Go to The Nazarene Fund.org"

By Thursday morning, thanks to this incredible audience, the Nazarene Fund was nearly halfway to achieving this "miracle."

"I asked you yesterday, if you would give until it hurts. And this is the most remarkable audience I think ever assembled," Glenn said. "In a 24-hour period ... this audience gave $9,334,652.24. We are halfway there in one day. It is truly a miracle that you, this one audience, gave nearly $10 million yesterday. I have always said that this audience is going to be the one that saves the country. You might be the one that saves the world," said an emotional Glenn on Wednesday's radio program."

"I asked you to help me raise $20 million by Friday so I could secure the aircraft, and the helicopters, and the teams to be able to get 5,000 Christians that are marked for death [out of Afghanistan.] And yesterday, there was a notice from the Taliban that any of these [Christian] people will be burned alive. In less than 24 hours, you gave $9,334,652.24," he continued. "This is the framework of hope. You are not alone! It is not just you. I've never seen anything like this before. I don't think any one audience has ever done that!"

"I have until tomorrow to raise the second half," he added. "You've given so much. The Nazarene Fund has put boots on the ground to do what needs to be done, to save the thousands of Christians who are in grave danger. We have the helicopters and the planes standing by. This is a logistical nightmare ... but they are marked for death. So as long as we have the money, as long as our Marines can hold the airports, and as long as there is a Christian left in hiding, we will do what we need to do. But we need God's help. We need Divine Providence like we've never needed it before. Time is running out. People are clinging to the hope that someone will remember them and arise, and save them from the blackness that is the Taliban."

UPDATE: By the end of the radio program Thursday, donations to the Nazarene Fund had reached $13 million.

UPDATE: On Friday morning, donations to the Nazarene Fund exceeded $20 million:


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If you thought the worst of the pandemic was over, think again. With the surge of the Delta variant comes a surge of the other virus that devastated America last year: government tyranny.

The Left is demanding more masks. More vaccine mandates. More lockdowns. But if you don't comply, you're considered dangerous. The Department of Homeland Security issued a new terrorism warning for extremists who disagree with "potential re-establishment of public health restrictions across the United States." Never mind the actual terrorists that President Joe Biden just allowed to retake Afghanistan and seize billions of dollars' worth of U.S. military equipment. The real threat is all those pesky American citizens who are fed up with the government trampling on their rights and on the very thing that made America what it is: our entrepreneurial spirit.

Tonight on "Glenn TV," Glenn Beck heads to ground zero in the battle against government control — California — where small business owners aren't just fighting fines and regulations, they're fighting possible jail time.

Glenn asks why they continue to hold the line for freedom almost two years into the pandemic. But they're not alone. Thousands of small businesses around the country now have to make that same decision: Will they return to living in a state of fear, where no matter whether they obey or step out of line, it's game over? Or will they say, "We will not comply" — before it's too late?

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

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