Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore

John Prine

About Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore

"Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" is an anti-war song by John Prine. It appeared on his eponymous introductory album, John Prine (1971). It's an attack on phony patriotism, especially in the context of exhibitionistic chauvinism.


Year:
1971
2:51
2,348 
#7

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While digesting Reader's Digest in the back of a dirty book store
A plastic flag, with gum on the back fell out on the floor
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside, slapped it on my window shield
And if I could see old Betsy Ross I'd tell her how good I feel

But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven anymore
They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war
Now Jesus don't like killin', no matter what the reason's for
And your flag decal won't get you into Heaven anymore

Well, I went to the bank this morning and the cashier he said to me
"If you join the Christmas club we'll give you ten of them flags for free"
Well, I didn't mess around a bit, I took him up on what he said
And I stuck them stickers all over my car and one on my wife's forehead

But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven anymore
They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war
Now Jesus don't like killin', no matter what the reason's for
And your flag decal won't get you into Heaven anymore

Well, I got my window shield so filled with flags I couldn't see
So, I ran the car upside a curb and right into a tree
By the time they got a doctor down I was already dead
And I'll never understand why the man standing in the pearly gates said

"But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven anymore
We're already overcrowded from your dirty little war"
"Now Jesus don't like killin', no matter what the reason's for
And your flag decal won't get you into Heaven anymore"

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John Prine

John Prine (born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, Illinois) is an American country/folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist and live performer since the early 1970s. more »

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Written by: John Prine

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


10 facts about this song

Artist Related
"Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore" is a song by American country folk singer-songwriter John Prine.
Album Information
The song is from Prine's self-titled debut album, "John Prine," which was released in 1971.
Song Theme
The song is a satirical commentary on excessive patriotism, specifically during the Vietnam War era. It criticizes the idea that patriotic symbols can be used for personal gain or salvation.
Song Recognition
It is one of Prine's most recognized songs and it often described as a socio-political anthem for its clear and poignant message.
Controversy
Due to its touch on sensitive issues such as patriotism and the Vietnam War, the song sparked controversy upon its release.
Songwriting
Prine wrote the song in the midst of the Vietnam War. He said he conceived the song after seeing flag decals being given away at a local gas station.
Influences
The narrative style Prine used in the song was influenced by Bob Dylan, with whom he is often compared.
Live Performances
Prine often played this song during his live performances and it has even been played at antiwar rallies.
Tribute
Following Prine's death in April 2020, many artists performed covers of "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore" as a tribute, reinforcing the song's lasting influence.
Song's Reach
Despite never being a commercial hit, the song's message resonated widely and made the song a favorite among Prine fans and even among other musicians.

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