July 4, 2022

The United States: Free and Independent


  “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”—Galatians 5:13 (KJV)


Disclaimer: I’m not citing sources for this article. I received the information from multiple resources over decades. Please search for more detail on YouTube videos, and in books.


I live in the U.S. I’m proud to embrace the principles on which this country was founded. We believe in fighting ridiculous odds and never giving up. The U.S.A.’s painful birth as a nation shows our independent, resilient spirit.


The Beginning

The “United States” began as thirteen struggling British colonies. These settlements were located on the Eastern seaboard of the country. Please see the map here. These nobodies (in England’s King George 3rds eyes) dared to battle their overlords.

The colonists had no central government. The leaders didn’t even agree among themselves. England, on the other hand, was rich. They also had one of the best-trained armies in the world. The modern war of David and Goliath began in 1775.

The Meaning of July 4th

On July 4, 1776, colonial leaders officially signed, and adopted, the Declaration of Independence. This was a risky, landmark event. All thirteen colonies were now committed to the fight for freedom.

The signers knew they were putting everything in jeopardy. Many lost their homes, and their lives. Incidentally, John Hancock was the wealthiest signer of the Declaration. His signature is by far the largest. “In your face, George 3rd!”

The Fight for Freedom Continues

Fast forward to 1812. The U.S again goes to war with England. Why? Two main reasons: unfair trade practices, and the kidnapping of U.S. sailors to fight on British ships (impressment).

The Background of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (the country’s national anthem)

Fort McHenry overlooks the harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. This location marks the middle of the Eastern coast of the country. The British wanted to capture it to cut off the shipping of supplies. They also hoped to divide the colonies in half. The North had always been more revolutionary than the South.

The Battle Begins

Francis Scott Key was a colonial lawyer. He was heading into Baltimore for a meeting. Unfortunately, the British merchant ship he was on had to sit in the harbor while the savage battle raged.

How bad was it? British warships had blockaded the entire harbor. Nobody could get in or out. The war vessels bombarded Fort McHenry with artillery fire all night.

No Surrender

 Why did the large flag at the fort still stand? A soldier perched it on top of a pile of his dead comrades. Literally. When British shells killed the flag bearer, another person would grab the flag and hold it up. The last carrier climbed up a tower of dozens of dead bodies.

The Writing of the National Anthem

Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” based on that night’s events. In an ironic twist, the melody is from an old English drinking song.

My Conclusion

The original flag from Ft McHenry (Old Glory) is in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The completely tattered flag is protected by heavy glass and darkness.

I saw the flag about fifteen years ago. I can’t describe the hushed, sacred feeling in the room. Old Glory is still a symbol of independence and determination.

How are you fighting the odds?

Please enjoy one of the most moving renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” ever. This is Whitney Houston singing during a Super Bowl halftime in 1991. I guarantee you’ll get goosebumps!

How are you fighting the odds?


  1. Thanks for this post Traci. I’m fighting the odds by teaching my kids as often as possible that values matter, faith matters, choosing right over wrong matters, helping those in need matters, and being valiant in defending these values and principles helps define who we are.

    1. Anonymous, I'm humbled by your continued support. I really appreciate you!...I also love your answer to how you're fighting the odds. All I can say is, "Amen".