Dr. Jill Greer, a sociology professor at Missouri Southern, was featured on a recent episode of NPR’s “Code Switch” podcast.

Dr. Jill Greer

Dr. Jill Greer

Episode seven of the podcast, with its release timed to the Fourth of July holiday, was titled “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” The focus was on “people of color and their relationship to the United States flag – a relationship that can be really complicated for a lot of reasons,” according to the Code Switch website.

Greer, who was featured in a segment about Native American flag songs, said the invitation to contribute to the podcast came as a surprise.

“They called me the day before,” she said. “They were looking online for sources about flag songs and got a hit on a paper that I published on the Otoe Missouria tribe  in 2008, then went to Google again to find my home phone number.”

Greer spoke with hosts Gene Demby and Adrian Florido about traditional Native American songs that honor returning veterans and the flag.

“The warrior songs naturally evolved into flag songs,” she said. “In the language of the Otoe Missouria, the word for ‘warrior’ and ‘veteran’ is the same.”

She said her interest in language and music came when she was working on her dissertation about native church songs. Along the way, she collected war dance songs as well as others about soldiers and veterans.

“I had elders helping me transcribe and translate the text of these songs,” she said.

The paper she penned on flag songs, which caught the attention of Code Switch was published by Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics – a publication of the University of Kansas Department of Linguistics.

To listen to the full podcast, visit http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/07/06/484317524/the-code-switch-podcast-episode-7-youre-a-grand-old-flag.