At midnight in a flaming angry town
I saw my country’s flag lying torn upon the ground.
I ran in and dodged among the crowd,
And scooped it up, and scampered out.
And then I took this striped old piece of cloth
And tried my best to wash the garbage off.
But I found it had been used for wrapping lies.
It stank and attracted all the flies.
While I was working crazy at my task,
I heard a husky voice that seemed to ask:
“Do you think that you could change it just a bit?
Betsy Ross did good, but she made some mistakes.
Well blue is good, the color of the sky.
And stars are good for ideals, so high.
Seven stripes of red to meet all danger;
But them white stripes: they could use some changing.
We’ll also need some stars of deep, rich brown,
And some of tan and black, then all around
A border of God’s green would look good there.
Maybe slant the stripes, they wouldn’t look so square.”
I woke and said, “What a crazy story.
Don’t let ’em say I was messin’ with Old Glory.”
But tonight near midnight, in another town
Again I see my country’s flag lying torn upon the ground.
(lyrics: Dan Bern)