Johnny Cash’s ‘Ragged Old Flag’ Brings America Together in Super Bowl Spot [Watch]
The spirit of Johnny Cash's life and music was alive and well on Sunday evening (Feb. 5), when his recitation of "Ragged Old Flag" was included in a patriotic tribute to the American spirit history prior to Super Bowl LI.
The Man in Black's classic spoken-word track was overlaid onto a spot Fox aired prior to Sunday's game, exploring the history of America and what we've done to keep our independence over the nation's history. The spot acknowledges that the U.S. may be more divided than usual in the wake of a particularly bitter election season, but we'll still stand together when it matters most.
"Fox Sports likes to take advantage of the gigantic audience that it gets for the Super Bowl," Coordinating Producer Jennifer Pranksy explained in a behind-the-scenes video explaining the feature. "Not just spend that talking about sports, but use that platform to actually promote the things that matter to us. And, for us, that's really our country and America."
The recitation was the title track of Cash's album of the same name in 1974, which addressed political and social issues during another time of social unrest and political upheaval in the United States. It ends with the haunting line, "She's been through the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more," which may be more relevant than ever in 2017.
Luke Bryan took the field at NRG Stadium in Houston to deliver an impassioned rendition of the National Anthem prior to the 2017 Super Bowl, which saw the New England Patriots face off against the Atlanta Falcons.