You will never see a cowboy take a knee, or claim to be offended by an American symbol. In fact, quite the opposite.  Many would knock your lights out rather than let you disrespect the American flag.

Right Up Front

No small town rodeo announcer has to encourage anyone to stand, remove their hats, or place their hands on their heart.  As soon as the first sign the flag is about to ride into the arena. the crowd is on its feet, hats come off and hands cover hearts. No prompting needed.  It’s amazing.  The first time I realized that was the consistent unspoken uniform movement at a rodeo, I got goosebumps and tears came to my eyes. I was so doggone proud!

Rodeos we attend display the patriotic spirit of cowboys. The American flag is always displayed prominently.  Every rodeo always begins with an honorary race around the arena by the rodeo queen and flag. 

As the flag goes by the cowboys, they honor the flag and the greatest nation on earth.

After the full gallop around the arena, the flag stands center stage and the national anthem is sung by a local singer.

The Flag is Front and Center

Special events make the flag a major element to the rodeo, such as at the inaugural Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo at its new location west of town. That day, the flag was carried in, unfurled and then posted.

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The American spirit is alive and well in the Badlands.  Cowboys who daily face physical challenges and problems are a self-reliant, independent, strong and patriotic group. 

They do not need a “safe place” to hide when their feelings are hurt.

They are not swayed by the latest silly trend at some big-name college.

They know who they are, what they are, where they came from and are not embarrassed to stand for what they believe.

They embody the American spirit.