There is a huge push for erasing anything deemed offensive in the wake of the toppling of historic statues. It has now has reached even our National Anthem. The latest battle cry is to replace “The Star Spangled Banner” with the more sentimental “America the Beautiful.” Of course, the cry of the possible racism of Francis Scott Key is the reasoning. There is even a petition floating around.
Sorry. It’s a no-go for me. There is a large degree of historic patiotism that would be lost. “America the Beautiful” doesn’t even come close.
If we want all our heroes and history to be spotless, there will be no one and nothing left. Greek Mythology was the birthplace of all stories of heroes. All have a Fatal Flaw. It is the human condition.
So I might…might…consider this the moment Black Lives Matter is willing to destroy the statues of Dr. Martin Luther King (though I’m not likely.) Data has recently been made public about some sordid areas of his life. All I will say is WOW! Even so, the disclosures do not negate all the good Dr. King accomplished for freedoms for all people.
Getting back to the subject at hand…
This is an excerpt from an article about Francis Scott Key at The History Channel:
The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the “Star-Spangled Banner”: “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
And here is why the symbolism of the flag at Fort McHenry needs to be remembered (courtesy of an Iowa State Daily researched article):
There the flag rested, torn, tattered and almost unrecognizable. The pole itself was battered and bent, and would have fallen if not for the bodies that held it up. The British had indeed uprooted the flagpole, but as it fell towards the earth, it was caught and held up by American soldiers who realized what that flag really stood for. When the next bomb came crashing down, killing those men, more rushed to take their spot, until the British realized they could take down a fort, but they could never crush the American Spirit.
We all have a past…even our Country. Not all of it is laudable, but it should be viewed in light of the struggle to improve. By the place we arrive, not the faults we’ve left behind.