Our national anthem is cast aside by a Tulsa soccer team owner. A statue of Francis Scott Key is pulled down. Both are products of an agenda-driven interpretation that ignores the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner.".
Stanza by stanza:
1. After the long night of British naval fleet bombardment, does our flag still wave? Does America still stand? Key yearns for that sight.
2. Do they survive, tyranny's foes, the Americans? Yes, the symbol of American resistance still waves!
3. Are they still there, "that band," those who pledged home and country and their blood, fully aware of British contempt that deems them inconsequential? Yes, they are! "And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Every American is "hireling and slave" in tyranny's view. Key in no way here references the institution of slavery, of one person owning another.
4. A yearning, a prayer: "Be it ever when freemen stand ... blest with victr'y and peace ... heav'n rescued ...." And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Objective honesty and knowledge are vital in these times. Oh, the dirt will remain, but America can be lost.
Clinton Cole, Grove
Editor's Note: The Tulsa Athletic, an amateur soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League, announced last week that the team will no longer play the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at home matches, and will instead play “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie. In a press release, the teams said it made the decision "to create an inclusive community through the game of soccer" after reviewing the anthem's lyrics and meaning.