In Praise of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’

In Praise of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’

In Praise of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’

Our National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” is the best national anthem ever. It totally rocks. I didn’t always think so. I sang it dutifully. It’s probably the second song that I ever learned, right after the “Marine Corps Hymn”. That is what happens when your Dad is a Marine.

I knew that Francis Scott Key had written “The Star Spangled Banner” at Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812. Yawn, Boresville. Who cares?


Well, as it turned out, I care. My son is an officer in the United States Army. There is something about watching your child raise his right hand and swear the official oath that would make any normal person turn into a flag waving Patriot:

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.) Courtesy of

Suddenly, every line of “The Star Spangled Banner had meaning. “Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming?” Yes. I get it now.

Newsbusters has reported on an article from The Root that we need a new “National Anthem”. The Root is a black news website started by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. aka Skip Gates (see also, Obama Friend, Beer Summit, “Police Acted Stupidly”). Lawrence Ware is the author of this article and it is filled with leftist claptrap. You can read it, but unless you need your blood pressure raised, just don’t. From the article:

Despite going to graduate school in the discipline, my greatest education in philosophy happened at the barbershop.

Old Man James, my barber since I was in elementary school, once hipped me to some game about the tension between blackness and patriotism in America.

“Y’all still singing the national anthem in school, young blood?” he once asked.

“Yeah,” I said, not sure where this was going.

“You’ll learn,” he said as he began to cut my hair.

I did learn—and, apparently, so did Colin Kaepernick. While many are outraged by his protest, others are joining him.

Safety Eric Reid knelt with Kaepernick during the San Francisco 49ers’ final preseason game, while in Oakland, Calif., Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat while the song played over the speakers. It’s not just a football thing. In solidarity with Kaepernick, soccer star Megan Rapinoe knelt while the anthem played before the Seattle Reign played the Chicago Red Stars in a National Women’s Soccer League game. The fans are also responding. Kaepernick’s jersey has skyrocketed in popularity seemingly overnight.

Now, I know that I am supposed to say that “men and women have fought and died for the right to protest and the right to sit or kneel or sleep during the ‘National Anthem'”. Nope. Sorry. I am fricking done with that politically correct bullbleep. From now on, I say, you respect the flag of the United States of America, her borders, her Constitution, her laws and “The Star Spangled Banner” or bloody freaking get out of my Country.

More from the article quoting one Robert Barsochini

The 35 year-old who wrote the US national anthem, Francis Scott Key, appears to have been a remorseless enslaver and abuser of black people, a tireless pro-slavery activist, a religious fundamentalist, and a proponent of genocide and land theft. …

It seems that asking a black or Native person to respect or honor this song would be like asking a Jewish person to honor a song written by a Nazi. Even if the most blatantly offensive lyrics were removed, it is hard to imagine that anyone in the US, except maybe a neo-Nazi, would feel any anger towards a Jewish person who refused to honor a song written by, say, Joseph Goebbels.

That the dominant US culture chooses to use as its very national anthem a song written by a genocidal slave-driver, and becomes enraged when a black person chooses not to honor it, illustrates, [Gerald] Horne[, professor of African-American studies at the University of Houston] said, that the US was “founded on slavery and genocide”, but also, crucially, “in denial.”

Colin Kaepernick displays his ignorance of history last night.
Colin Kaepernick displays his ignorance of history last night.

Hey, ignoramuses – life used to really suck. Yes, lawyer Francis Scott Key owned slaves. At the time, even some black Americans owned slaves. Francis Scott Key used to defend slaves, as a lawyer, working to get their freedom, according to the Baltimore Sun.

To say that the United States was “founded on slavery and genocide” and also “in denial” shows a serious lack in history knowledge and/or perspective of current world affairs. The Founding Fathers fought bitterly over slavery (“Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, I recommend again). We fought a Civil War over the slavery. We ended it in the United States. Modern slavery in the world exists in its cruelest forms in many countries. According to Global Slavery Index, nearly 46 million people are enslaved today. The year 2016.

Is the United States of America a perfect country? No such thing exists on the planet Earth. My faith teaches me that life on Earth cannot be perfected. I am not going to sit back and let culturally ignorant knaves lie and disrespect the country that I love so much.

“O say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave o’er the land of the Free and the home of the Brave.” Men and women, black and white, Asian, Hispanic, Aboriginal, Indian and mixed races have fought and died to keep this land free. We don’t need a new National Anthem. We need better education about the one we have. And, on that note, let us listen to “The Star Spangled Banner”.

God Bless the United States of America and her beautiful “Star Spangled Banner”. Excuse me, I need tissues.

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  • OC says:

    A slightly different oath for us enlisted guys. You know, the ones that really did the work. -;)

    I served so that self righteous millionaires could do this very thing – disrespect our flag. But to do it during OUR National Anthem makes my blood boil.

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