Salon: National Anthem is ‘Another Neo-Confederate Symbol’

Boosted by the “white supremacist South.”

Our national anthem has long been a sore spot with regressive leftists (especially that rarely-sung third verse). Most recently, they celebrated Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the tune and “racist” flag during 49ers games when he kneeled on the sidelines. The Star-Spangled Banner hasn’t quite made it on the chopping block like other symbols of our nation’s dark history with slavery, but it’s next in line.

Making sure of that is Salon staff writer Jefferson Morley whose latest article dives into the patriotic song’s origins and concludes that the anthem is just “another neo-Confederate symbol.” 

Without calling for an outright ban on singing the song at national events or before ball games, Morley lands just shy of that suggestion:

[Francis Scott] Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” with its lyrics deriding black people who took up arms to gain their freedom in the War of 1812, became a point of pride for Southerners.

In the decades following the Civil War, the defeated South strove to establish rituals such as Memorial Day, which honored the veterans of northern and southern armies equally, implying equality of respect for their causes.

Honoring “The Star-Spangled Banner” was another such ritual. In 1914, on the centennial of Key’s writing the song, supporters launched a campaign to designate “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the one and only national anthem. At the time “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful” were also considered national anthems, especially in the northern states.

The campaign to elevate the “Banner” was, as one Boston magazine noted in 1914, “a sectarian movement.” That sect was the white supremacist South.

Eventually, Morley notes, “The Southerners won the war in March 1931” when President Herbert Hoover made The Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem.

“Those who wanted ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to serve as the national anthem could not have been more explicit in their politics,” Morley continued. “The Confederate flag… was also a star-spangled banner.”

“In short,” he concluded, “neo-Confederates elevated ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ from patriotic tune to national anthem as a way of honoring southern slaveowners’ rebellion.”

While Morley said the origin of the tune needs to be “properly acknowledged,” he’s not willing to say the anthem needs to be outright replaced.

Or does he…

Here’s the opening sentence of his article: “Confederate war memorials are just the beginning.”

Yeah, Morley, we see you.

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