Replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
This petition had 7 supporters
The last year has seen controversy over the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner at sporting events. This controversy has mainly been centered on athletes refusing to stand for the anthem. While their reasons are primarily focused on the current treatment of African-Americans in American society, criticism has also been leveled at the origins of the song. Francis Scott Key, the author of the poem that became the song, was a slave-owner and makes reference to killing slaves in a rarely-sung verse in the song. While originally I was wholeheartedly opposed to the actions of these athletes I slowly began to realize why they may feel the way they do about the song and realized the song and its origins appear contradictory to the values that we as Americans claim to profess.
So what to do about this? Some have said sports leagues and entertainment entities simply should stop making patriotic gestures. I disagree with this. I am proud to be an American and I believe the majority of my fellow Americans agree with this sentiment, however disappointed we may be in our country at various times of our lives. As Americans, when we encounter problems we don't simply wipe our hands of them and be done, we strive to fix them. Recently, I heard a rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic- the de facto anthem of The Union during the Civil War. Upon hearing it for the first time in many years it became clear what the next course of action should be.The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a beautiful song, a beacon of unbelievable light written in our nation's darkest hour. It makes no reference to killing slaves, but instead implores Americans give their lives to set them free. While the Star-Spangled Banner was written by a slave-owner, The Battle Hymn of the Republic was written by a courageous woman, Julia Ward Howe, who dedicated her life to the abolition of it. The song is about everything Americans hold dear: courage, faith, love, and the nobility of dying for a cause that is worth it. In short I believe it is a song that that can rally Americans of every race, class, religion and gender together.
So how do I plan on enacting this change? My hope is that this petition will collect enough signatures to eventually get noticed by the major sports leagues (NBA NFL MLB NHL) around which this controversy has swirled. More specifically, I hope to get this noticed by the teams that comprise these leagues. All it takes is one team- one team to adopt this song of indescribable beauty to be sung before its games in replacement of The Star-Spangled Banner. The media coverage that this move will garner will be immense, especially in today's sports media culture. I believe this will have a snowball effect and more and more teams will follow suit. There will be some holdouts, of course, but I believe that within decades this song can become the de facto national anthem until such time as the government makes it official. I ask that you sign this petition if you believe that a song that so powerfully represents the ideals of this country should not play second fiddle to a poem by a slave owner, but should instead be thrust onto the main stage for all to hear, admire and be inspired by.
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