How walk the history of the U.S. National anthem reflect the country’s lengthy struggle through racial, economic and also gender inequality?


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The flag the flew over ft McHenry in 1814 (Credit: Smithsonian school Archives via Wikimedia)


It is renowned that Francis Scott an essential is the writer of the famed words “the floor of the complimentary and the house of the brave.” He created those indigenous in 1814 and, ever due to the fact that 1931, they have actually been sung together the nationwide anthem of the unified States.

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What is far less well-known are his views on race.

In his career as lawyer and also public servant, crucial spoke publicly of africans in America as “a distinct and also inferior gyeongju of people, i beg your pardon all suffer proves to be the best evil that afflicts a community.”

He saw them as a shiftless and also untrustworthy population — a nuisance come white people.

Key believed the equipment to the slavery problem was to free the enslaved Africans and also get to escape of them by help them colonize Africa. He functioned on instead of of this racial dream for much more than 20 years. That was, in the indigenous of a friend, a distressingly severe man.

Key had become famous almost by accident. He wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” in September 1814 and also it became immediately popular.

Amazingly, the tune was the product the a humiliation. Francis Scott key was a veteran the what some called “the Bladensburg Races,” the full collapse that American forces during the British intrusion of Washington in respectable 1814.

When the untrained American militia challenged the dogged development by brothers troops, donate by pho fire, the Americans damaged rank by the hundreds and also then by the thousands.

They ran as rapid as lock could, for this reason the humorous referral to “The Races.” Most just ran ago toward Washington, consisting of Lieutenant Key. In the Bladensburg Races, Francis Scott crucial was a sprinter.

Seeking to redeem his battlefield failure, vital negotiated v British forces that had actually arrested a family friend.

In his initiative to certain his friend’s release, he controlled to join him plank a brothers ship together the fleet bombarded fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor.

On September 14, 1814, the British proved their prowess in the spectacular and useless screen of army power through pummeling the ft with bombs.

The american did not return fire. But they did hang a red, white and also blue flag out. In ~ dawn — much to everyone’s surprised — the British had not breached the fort’s walls and the flag was still there.

Key decided to compose a patriotic song. He fitted his words to a popular English drinking club track called, “To Anacreon in Heaven.” Originally, the tune had four stanzas, although only one is sung today. In the now-forgotten last stanza, key wrote:

Then conquer we need to when our reason it is just/And this be our motto: “In God is ours Trust.”/And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave/O’er the floor of the complimentary and the home of the brave.”

In Key’s developmental lyrics, America would overcome in the surname of a just god.

After the defense of fort McHenry, the war of 1812 involved a nearby — brother had beat France in Europe and did not care to bother further with the Americans.

If the united States had actually not winner the war of 1812, it had not shed it either. American were totally free — white Americans, the is.

Key’s name spread out throughout the unified States since of the popularity of “the Star Spangled Banner.” The tune was sung everywhere, though it would not officially be embraced as the national anthem that the United claims for another century.

The designation that the “Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem was the culmination the a 15-year lobbying project a century later led by veterans’ establishments that overcame resistance from new England and also from pacifists that criticized the song’s militaristic imagery.

In 1930, Congressman man Linthicum, a Democrat indigenous Baltimore, introduced a bill to clues the Star Spangled Banner together the national anthem.

Wide majorities that the House and also the Senate approved it a year later and also President Herbert Hoover signed the bill right into law on march 3, 1931.

But the words that ring in every American’s ears about freedom and also bravery take it on new an interpretation when one looks further into the Washington summer of 1835.

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