As the Left continues its attacks on American institutions and culture, it has now turned its attention to one of the most American of all icons. That is our National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.
Written by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812 while detained on the British ship HMS Tonnant, he observed the bombing of Fort McHenry on the night of Sep 13 & 14, only to see that as the new dawn arose, the American flag still waved proudly in the morning sky. Within a week, Key had written a poem about that fateful night and the following morning.
Set to music shortly thereafter, the Star Spangled Banner became the “defacto” National Anthem by the time of the Mexican-American War and in 1916 by Executive Order of President Woodrow Wilson, officially named the National Anthem. A Congressional resolution in 1931 would further memorialize the Star Spangled Banner as our National Anthem.
Since World War 2, the National Anthem has been played at sporting events across America, political rallies, and almost anywhere that people gather in public. At the first notes, people stood and placed their hands over their hearts. Veterans and active duty presented their best salutes. Unfortunately, that tradition has begun to change.
Attacking the National Anthem
During the 2016 NFL preseason, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick claimed that he was making a statement about racial injustice, not protesting the “The Star-Spangled Banner” itself. However, his other comments indicated a hatred for America which the Star Spangled Banner glorified.
Since then, there has been a simmering of unrest with regard to the National Anthem. However, it was nothing significant until June 20, 2020 when the statue of Francis Scott Key in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park was torn down by radical protesters. Since then, there has been a relentless call to replace the National Anthem with other songs instead.
Major League Soccer has announced that the anthem would not be played before games when its season resumes this month. The George Soros group Change.org has a petition online promoting changing the National Anthem to another song. The NFL has even announced that they would allow players to take a knee or sit during the Anthem and will even play another song just before the Anthem that is one being promoted to take its place.
What are these songs being proposed as replacements for the Star Spangled Banner?
Writer Kevin Powell has advocated for John Lennon’s “Imagine” to replace the Star Spangled Banner. Calling it “the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.” A song of “utopian dreams, Imagine has nothing to do with America and its culture or history. So to Kevin Powell, I say
Lift every Voice
The song that the NFL will play for Week 1 of the new season just before the Star Spangled Banner is a poem written in 1900 and put to song in 1905 is James Weldon Johnsons “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This song is about the Black experience in America.
So we are expected to just ignore everything else in favor of the Black experience? I don’t think so.
This Land Is Your Land
Others are promoting the 1940 song written by Arlo Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land.” But those promoting it ignore some salient facts.
Guthrie wrote This Land Is Your Land in response to Irving Berlin’s 1936 “God Bless America.” He had grown tired of hearing it played all the time on the radio and did not like the blatant patriotism that God Bless America inspired, a typical reaction of Leftists and Communists at that time. (Guthrie never joined any communist groups but did have a loose affiliation with many of them.)
Do we really want a National Anthem written by a Leftist? Not me!
Lean On Me
There is another song that has been promoted for a new National Anthem. It is the 1972 Bill Withers’ soul ballad “Lean on Me.”
Lean on Me has nothing to do with America. It speaks not to God or Liberty or the historical significance of the American experience. Its only claim to fame is having been No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts and having been performed in a number of different venues by different groups.
Lean on Me sends a message of friendship and good feelings and a message of allegiance to each other and not a country. It does not inspire pride in country or patriotism.
A National Anthem is supposed to inspire. It is designed for people to rally around the flag and country in good times and bad.
Try to superimpose upon your memory of those fateful days and nights following 9-11. Think of songs that inspire and rally Americans to their country. Do any of the proposed replacement songs serve such a purpose? Not no, but Hell No!
Only God Bless America or America the Beautiful could come close to matching the Star Spangled Banner in what it means to be American.
So to those who want to change our National Anthem from The Star Spangled Banner to some other piece of garbage like those proposed so far, I say “just try it.” You have been pushing your luck so far, but there is a point where you go too far. This may just be “that point” for the entire country.
In closing, I remind everyone………..
LIFE IS GOOD! (And AMERICA is GREAT! If you don’t like it, move to another country.)