The Info List - The Star-Spangled Banner

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"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort M'Henry",[2] a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry
by British ships of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
in Baltimore
Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore
Battle of Baltimore
in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "To Anacreon in Heaven" (or "The Anacreontic Song"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it soon became a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of 19 semitones, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the United States
United States
Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover. Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. "Hail, Columbia" served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen", the British national anthem,[3] also served as a de facto anthem.[4] Following the War of 1812
War of 1812
and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them "America the Beautiful".


1 Early history

1.1 Francis Scott Key's lyrics 1.2 John Stafford Smith's music 1.3 National anthem

2 Modern history

2.1 Performances 2.2 200th anniversary celebrations 2.3 Adaptations

3 Lyrics

3.1 Additional Civil War period lyrics 3.2 Alternative lyrics

4 References in film, television, literature 5 Customs and federal law 6 Protests

6.1 1968 Olympics Black Power
Black Power
salute 6.2 2016 protests 6.3 NAACP
call to remove the national anthem

7 Translations 8 Media 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

12.1 Historical audio

Early history[edit] Francis Scott Key's lyrics[edit]

Francis Scott Key's original manuscript copy of his "Defence of Fort M'Henry" poem. It is now on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington
Burning of Washington
and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
and John Stuart Skinner
John Stuart Skinner
set sail from Baltimore
aboard the ship HMS Minden, flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison. Their objective was to secure an exchange of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro and a friend of Key's who had been captured in his home. Beanes was accused of aiding the arrest of British soldiers. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant
HMS Tonnant
on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane
Alexander Cochrane
over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans. At first, Ross and Cochrane refused to release Beanes but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment. Because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle, first aboard HMS Surprise and later back on HMS Minden. After the bombardment, certain British gunboats attempted to slip past the fort and effect a landing in a cove to the west of it, but they were turned away by fire from nearby Fort Covington, the city's last line of defense.

An artist's rendering of the battle at Fort McHenry

During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket[5] barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised. During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air".

The 15-star, 15-stripe "Star-Spangled Banner" that inspired the poem

Key was inspired by the American victory and the sight of the large American flag
American flag
flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution. It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, and again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program. Aboard the ship the next day, Key wrote a poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. At twilight on September 16, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He completed the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, and titled it "Defence of Fort M'Henry". Much of the idea of the poem, including the flag imagery and some of the wording, is derived from an earlier song by Key, also set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song". The song, known as "When the Warrior Returns",[6] was written in honor of Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur
and Charles Stewart on their return from the First Barbary War. Absent elaboration by Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
prior to his death in 1843, some have speculated in modern times about the meaning of phrases or verses. According to British historian Robin Blackburn, the words "the hireling and slave" allude to the thousands of ex-slaves in the British ranks organised as the Corps of Colonial Marines, who had been liberated by the British and demanded to be placed in the battle line "where they might expect to meet their former masters."[7] Nevertheless, Professor Mark Clague, a professor of musicology at the University of Michigan, argues that the "middle two verses of Key's lyric vilify the British enemy in the War of 1812" and "in no way glorifies or celebrates slavery."[8] Clague writes that "For Key ... the British mercenaries were scoundrels and the Colonial Marines were traitors who threatened to spark a national insurrection."[8] This harshly anti-British nature of Verse 3 led to its omission in sheet music in World War I, when Britain and the U.S. were allies.[8] Responding to the assertion of writer Jon Schwarz of The Intercept that the song is a "celebration of slavery,"[9] Clague said that: "The reference to slaves is about the use and in some sense the manipulation, of black Americans to fight for the British, with the promise of freedom. The American forces included African-Americans as well as whites. The term 'freemen,' whose heroism is celebrated in the fourth stanza, would have encompassed both."[10] Others suggest that "Key may have intended the phrase as a reference to the British Navy's practice of impressment (kidnapping sailors and forcing them to fight in defense of the crown), or as a semi-metaphorical slap at the British invading force as a whole (which included a large number of mercenaries)."[11] John Stafford Smith's music[edit]

Sheet music
Sheet music
version  Play (help·info)

The memorial to John Stafford Smith
John Stafford Smith
in Gloucester
Cathedral, Gloucester, England

Key gave the poem to his brother-in-law Judge Joseph H. Nicholson who saw that the words fit the popular melody "The Anacreontic Song", by English composer John Stafford Smith. This was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London. Nicholson took the poem to a printer in Baltimore, who anonymously made the first known broadside printing on September 17; of these, two known copies survive. On September 20, both the Baltimore
Patriot and The American printed the song, with the note "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven". The song quickly became popular, with seventeen newspapers from Georgia to New Hampshire printing it. Soon after, Thomas Carr of the Carr Music Store in Baltimore
published the words and music together under the title "The Star Spangled Banner", although it was originally called "Defence of Fort M'Henry". Thomas Carr's arrangement introduced the raised fourth which became the standard deviation from "The Anacreontic Song".[12] The song's popularity increased and its first public performance took place in October when Baltimore
actor Ferdinand Durang sang it at Captain McCauley's tavern. Washington Irving, then editor of the Analectic Magazine
Analectic Magazine
in Philadelphia, reprinted the song in November 1814. By the early 20th century, there were various versions of the song in popular use. Seeking a singular, standard version, President Woodrow Wilson tasked the U.S. Bureau of Education with providing that official version. In response, the Bureau enlisted the help of five musicians to agree upon an arrangement. Those musicians were Walter Damrosch, Will Earhart, Arnold J. Gantvoort, Oscar Sonneck and John Philip Sousa. The standardized version that was voted upon by these five musicians premiered at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
on December 5, 1917, in a program that included Edward Elgar's Carillon and Gabriel Pierné's The Children's Crusade. The concert was put on by the Oratorio Society of New York and conducted by Walter Damrosch.[13] An official handwritten version of the final votes of these five men has been found and shows all five men's votes tallied, measure by measure.[14] National anthem[edit]

Commemorative plaque
Commemorative plaque
in Washington, D.C. marking the site at 601 Pennsylvania Avenue where "The Star-Spangled Banner" was first publicly sung

One of two surviving copies of the 1814 broadside printing of the "Defence of Fort M'Henry", a poem that later became the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States.

The song gained popularity throughout the 19th century and bands played it during public events, such as July 4th celebrations. A plaque displayed at Fort Meade, South Dakota, claims that the idea of making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem began on their parade ground in 1892. Colonel Caleb Carlton, Post Commander, established the tradition that the song be played "at retreat and at the close of parades and concerts." Carlton explained the custom to Governor Sheldon of South Dakota who "promised me that he would try to have the custom established among the state militia." Carlton wrote that after a similar discussion, Secretary of War, Daniel E. Lamont issued an order that it "be played at every Army post every evening at retreat."[15] In 1899, the US Navy officially adopted "The Star-Spangled Banner".[16] In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
ordered that "The Star-Spangled Banner" be played at military[16] and other appropriate occasions. The playing of the song two years later during the seventh-inning stretch of Game One of the 1918 World Series, and thereafter during each game of the series is often cited as the first instance that the anthem was played at a baseball game,[17] though evidence shows that the "Star-Spangled Banner" was performed as early as 1897 at opening day ceremonies in Philadelphia
and then more regularly at the Polo Grounds
Polo Grounds
in New York City beginning in 1898. In any case, the tradition of performing the national anthem before every baseball game began in World War II.[18] On April 10, 1918, John Charles Linthicum, U.S. Congressman from Maryland, introduced a bill to officially recognize "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem.[19] The bill did not pass.[19] On April 15, 1929, Linthicum introduced the bill again, his sixth time doing so.[19] On November 3, 1929, Robert Ripley
Robert Ripley
drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem".[20] In 1930, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars
started a petition for the United States to officially recognize "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem.[21] Five million people signed the petition.[21] The petition was presented to the United States
United States
House Committee on the Judiciary on January 31, 1930.[22] On the same day, Elsie Jorss-Reilley and Grace Evelyn Boudlin sang the song to the Committee to refute the perception that it was too high pitched for a typical person to sing.[23] The Committee voted in favor of sending the bill to the House floor for a vote.[24] The House of Representatives passed the bill later that year.[25] The Senate passed the bill on March 3, 1931.[25] President Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
signed the bill on March 4, 1931, officially adopting "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States
United States
of America.[1] As currently codified, the United States Code states that "[t]he composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem."[26] Modern history[edit] Main article: Performances and adaptations of The Star-Spangled Banner Performances[edit]

This section may contain indiscriminate, excessive, or irrelevant examples. Please improve the article by adding more descriptive text and removing less pertinent examples. See's guide to writing better articles for further suggestions. (November 2012)

Crowd performing the U.S. national anthem before a baseball game at Coors Field

The song is notoriously difficult for nonprofessionals to sing because of its wide range – a 12th. Humorist Richard Armour referred to the song's difficulty in his book It All Started With Columbus.

In an attempt to take Baltimore, the British attacked Fort McHenry, which protected the harbor. Bombs were soon bursting in air, rockets were glaring, and all in all it was a moment of great historical interest. During the bombardment, a young lawyer named Francis Off Key [sic] wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner", and when, by the dawn's early light, the British heard it sung, they fled in terror. — Richard Armour

Professional and amateur singers have been known to forget the words, which is one reason the song is sometimes pre-recorded and lip-synced.[citation needed] Other times the issue is avoided by having the performer(s) play the anthem instrumentally instead of singing it. The pre-recording of the anthem has become standard practice at some ballparks, such as Boston's Fenway Park, according to the SABR publication The Fenway Project.[27] "The Star-Spangled Banner" is traditionally played at the beginning of public sports events and orchestral concerts in the United States, as well as other public gatherings. The National Hockey League
National Hockey League
and Major League Soccer both require venues in both the U.S. and Canada to perform both the Canadian and American national anthems at games that involve teams from both countries (with the "away" anthem being performed first) .[28][better source needed] It is also usual for both American and Canadian anthems (done in the same way as the NHL and MLS) to be played at Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
and National Basketball Association games involving the Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
and the Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors
(respectively), the only Canadian teams in those two major U.S. sports leagues, and in All Star Games on the MLB, NBA, and NHL. The Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Sabres
of the NHL, which play in a city on the Canada–US border and have a substantial Canadian fan base, play both anthems before all home games regardless of where the visiting team is based.[29] Two especially unusual performances of the song took place in the immediate aftermath of the United States
United States
September 11 attacks. On September 12, 2001, the Queen broke with tradition and allowed the Band of the Coldstream Guards to perform the anthem at Buckingham Palace, London, at the ceremonial Changing of the Guard, as a gesture of support for Britain's ally.[30] The following day at a St. Paul's Cathedral memorial service, the Queen joined in the singing of the anthem, an unprecedented occurrence.[31] 200th anniversary celebrations[edit] The 200th anniversary of the "Star-Spangled Banner" occurred in 2014 with various special events occurring throughout the United States. A particularly significant celebration occurred during the week of September 10–16 in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Highlights included playing of a new arrangement of the anthem arranged by John Williams and participation of President Obama on Defender's Day, September 12, 2014, at Fort McHenry.[32] In addition, the anthem bicentennial included a youth music celebration[33] including the presentation of the National Anthem Bicentennial Youth Challenge winning composition written by Noah Altshuler. Adaptations[edit] See also: The Star Spangled Banner ( Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston

O'er the ramparts we watch in a 1945 United States
United States
Army Air Forces poster

The first popular music performance of the anthem heard by the mainstream U.S. was by Puerto Rican singer and guitarist José Feliciano. He created a nationwide uproar when he strummed a slow, blues-style rendition of the song[34] at Tiger Stadium in Detroit before game five of the 1968 World Series, between Detroit and St. Louis.[35] This rendition started contemporary "Star-Spangled Banner" controversies. The response from many in the Vietnam War-era U.S. was generally negative. Despite the controversy, Feliciano's performance opened the door for the countless interpretations of the "Star-Spangled Banner" heard in the years since.[36] One week after Feliciano's performance, the anthem was in the news again when American athletes Tommie Smith
Tommie Smith
and John Carlos
John Carlos
lifted controversial raised fists at the 1968 Olympics while the "Star-Spangled Banner" played at a medal ceremony. Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye
gave a soul-influenced performance at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game and Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
gave a soulful rendition before Super Bowl XXV
Super Bowl XXV
in 1991, which was released as a single that charted at number 20 in 1991 and number 6 in 2001 (along with José Feliciano, the only times the anthem has been on the Billboard Hot 100). In 1993, Kiss did an instrumental rock version as the closing track on their album, Alive III. Another famous instrumental interpretation is Jimi Hendrix's version, which was a set-list staple from autumn 1968 until his death in September 1970, including a famous rendition at the Woodstock
music festival in 1969. Incorporating sonic effects to emphasize the "rockets' red glare", and "bombs bursting in air", it became a late-1960s emblem. Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr
gave a controversial performance of the anthem at a San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres
baseball game at Jack Murphy Stadium on July 25, 1990. The comedian belted out a screechy rendition of the song, and afterward, she attempted a gesture of ballplayers by spitting and grabbing her crotch as if adjusting a protective cup. The performance offended some, including the sitting U.S. President, George H. W. Bush.[37] Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens
has frequently performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" in live sets, replacing the optimism in the end of the first verse with a new coda that alludes to the divisive state of the nation today. David Lee Roth
David Lee Roth
both referenced parts of the anthem and played part of a hard rock rendition of the anthem on his song, "Yankee Rose" on his 1986 solo album, Eat 'Em and Smile. Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler
also caused some controversy in 2001 (at the Indianapolis 500, to which he later issued a public apology) and again in 2012 (at the AFC Championship Game) with a cappella renditions of the song with changed lyrics.[38] A version of Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Brad Whitford
Brad Whitford
playing part of the song can be heard at the end of their version of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" on the Rockin' the Joint album. The band Boston gave an instrumental rock rendition of the anthem on their Greatest Hits album. The band Crush 40
Crush 40
made a version of the song as opening track from the album Thrill of the Feel
Thrill of the Feel
(2000). In March 2005, a government-sponsored program, the National Anthem Project, was launched after a Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive
poll showed many adults knew neither the lyrics nor the history of the anthem.[39] Lyrics[edit]

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation. Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.' And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave![40]

Cover of sheet music for "The Star-Spangled Banner", transcribed for piano by Ch. Voss, Philadelphia: G. Andre & Co., 1862

Additional Civil War period lyrics[edit] In indignation over the start of the American Civil War, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.[41] added a fifth stanza to the song in 1861, which appeared in songbooks of the era.[42]

When our land is illumined with Liberty's smile, If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory, Down, down with the traitor that dares to defile The flag of her stars and the page of her story! By the millions unchained who our birthright have gained, We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained! And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Alternative lyrics[edit] In a version hand-written by Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
in 1840, the third line reads "Whose bright stars and broad stripes, through the clouds of the fight".[43] References in film, television, literature[edit] Several films have their titles taken from the song's lyrics. These include two films titled Dawn's Early Light (2000[44] and 2005);[45] two made-for-TV features titled By Dawn's Early Light
By Dawn's Early Light
(1990[46] and 2000);[47] two films titled So Proudly We Hail (1943[48] and 1990);[49] a feature (1977)[50] and a short (2005)[51] titled Twilight's Last Gleaming; and four films titled Home of the Brave (1949,[52] 1986,[53] 2004,[54] and 2006).[55] A 1936 short titled "The Song of a Nation" from Warner Brothers shows a version of the origin of the song.[56] Customs and federal law[edit]

Plaque detailing how the custom of standing during the Anthem came about in Tacoma, Washington, on October 18, 1893, in the Bostwick building

When the National Anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing. On June 22, 1942, the law was revised indicating that those in uniform should salute during its playing, while others should simply stand at attention, men removing their hats. (The same code also required that women should place their hands over their hearts when the flag is displayed during the playing of the Anthem, but not if the flag was not present.) On December 23, 1942, the law was again revised instructing men and women to stand at attention and face in the direction of the music when it was played. That revision also directed men and women to place their hands over their hearts only if the flag was displayed. Those in uniform were required to salute. On July 7, 1976, the law was simplified. Men and women were instructed to stand with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats, irrespective of whether or not the flag was displayed and those in uniform saluting. On August 12, 1998, the law was rewritten keeping the same instructions, but differentiating between "those in uniform" and "members of the Armed Forces and veterans" who were both instructed to salute during the playing whether or not the flag was displayed. Because of the changes in law over the years and confusion between instructions for the Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
versus the National Anthem, throughout most of the 20th century many people simply stood at attention or with their hands folded in front of them during the playing of the Anthem, and when reciting the Pledge they would hold their hand (or hat) over their heart. After 9/11, the custom of placing the hand over the heart during the playing of the Anthem became nearly universal.[57][58][59] Since 1998, federal law (viz., the United States
United States
Code 36 U.S.C. § 301) states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present including those in uniform should stand at attention; Non-military service individuals should face the flag with the right hand over the heart; Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; Military service persons not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note. The law further provides that when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. The law was amended in 2008, and since allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.[60][61] The text of 36 U.S.C. § 301 is suggestive and not regulatory in nature. Failure to follow the suggestions is not a violation of the law. This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance.[62] For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not sing the national anthem, though they are taught that standing is an "ethical decision" that individual believers must make based on their "conscience."[63][64][65] Protests[edit] Main article: U.S. national anthem protests 1968 Olympics Black Power
Black Power
salute[edit] Main article: 1968 Olympics Black Power
Black Power
salute The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute
1968 Olympics Black Power salute
was a political demonstration conducted by African-American
athletes Tommie Smith
Tommie Smith
and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics
1968 Summer Olympics
in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City. After having won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event, they turned on the podium to face their flags, and to hear the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". Each athlete raised a black-gloved fist, and kept them raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman
Peter Norman
all wore human rights badges on their jackets. In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a "Black Power" salute, but a "human rights salute". The event is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games.[66] 2016 protests[edit] Main article: U.S. national anthem protests
U.S. national anthem protests
(2016–present) Politically motivated protests of the national anthem began in the National Football League
National Football League
(NFL) after San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
quarterback (QB) Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick
sat during the anthem, as opposed to the tradition of standing, in response to police brutality in America, before his team's third preseason game of 2016. Kaepernick also sat during the first two preseason games, but he went unnoticed.[67] NAACP
call to remove the national anthem[edit] In November 2017, the California Chapter of the NAACP
called on Congress to remove The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
as the national anthem. Alice Huffman, California NAACP
president said: "it's racist; it doesn't represent our community, it's anti-black."[68] The third stanza of the anthem, which is rarely sung and few know, contains the words, "No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:", which some interpret as racist. The organization was still seeking a representative to sponsor the legislation in Congress at the time of their announcement. Translations[edit] As a result of immigration to the United States
United States
and the incorporation of non-English speaking people into the country, the lyrics of the song have been translated into other languages. In 1861, it was translated into German.[69] The Library of Congress also has record of a Spanish-language version from 1919.[70] It has since been translated into Hebrew[71] and Yiddish by Jewish immigrants,[72] Latin
American Spanish (with one version popularized during immigration reform protests in 2006),[73] French by Acadians of Louisiana,[74] Samoan,[75] and Irish.[76] The third verse of the anthem has also been translated into Latin.[77] With regard to the indigenous languages of North America, there are versions in Navajo[78][79][80] and Cherokee.[81] Media[edit]

The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner

A 1915 recording of the Star-Spangled Banner as sung by Margaret Woodrow Wilson, daughter of Woodrow Wilson

The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner

Fred Waring
Fred Waring
and His Pennsylvanians sing The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
in 1942

The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner

A 1953 instrumental recording by the United States
United States
Marine Corps band

The Star Spangled Banner (circa 2000)

An instrumental recording by the United States
United States
Navy Band.

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See also[edit]

In God We Trust Sign-on and sign-off

Music portal United States
United States


^ a b ""Star-Spangled Banner" Is Now Official Anthem". The Washington Post. March 5, 1931. p. 3. ^ "Defence of Fort M'Henry Library of Congress". Loc.gov. Retrieved 2017-04-18.  ^ "My country 'tis of thee [Song Collection]". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-01-20.  ^ Snyder, Lois Leo (1990). Encyclopedia of Nationalism. Paragon House. p. 13. ISBN 1-55778-167-2.  ^ British Rockets at the US National Park Service, Fort McHenry National Monument, and Historic Shrine. Retrieved February 2008. Archived April 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "When the Warrior Returns - Key". Potw.org. Retrieved 2017-04-18.  ^ Blackburn, Robin (1988). The Overthrdow of Colonial Slavery, 1776–1848. pp. 288–290.  ^ a b c Mark Clague (2016-08-31). "'Star-Spangled Banner' critics miss the point". CNN.com. Retrieved 2017-04-18.  ^ " Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick
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Further reading[edit]

Ferris, Marc. Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. ISBN 9781421415185 OCLC 879370575 Leepson, Marc. What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, a Life. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. ISBN 9781137278289 OCLC 860395373

External links[edit]

"New book reveals the dark history behind the Star Spangled Banner," CBS This Morning, September 13, 2014. "Star-Spangled History: 5 Facts About the Making of the National Anthem," Biography.com. "'Star-Spangled Banner' writer had a complex record on race," Mary Carole McCauley,' ' Baltimore
Sun, July 26, 2014. "The Man Behind The National Anthem Paid Little Attention To It." NPR's "Hear and Now," July 4, 2017.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Star-Spangled Banner.

has original text related to this article: The Star-Spangled Banner

Look up haughty or rampart in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Star-Spangled Banner (Memory): American Treasures of the Library of Congress "How the National Anthem Has Unfurled; 'The Star-Spangled Banner' Has Changed a Lot in 200 Years." By WILLIAM ROBIN JUNE 27, 2014 The New York Times C-SPAN American History TV tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Star-Spangled Banner exhibit

Historical audio[edit]

The Star Spangled Banner, The Diamond Four, 1898 The Star Spangled Banner, Margaret Woodrow Wilson, 1915

v t e

National anthems of North America

Independent countries

Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago United States


American West Indies

Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands

British West Indies

Anguilla Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Montserrat Turks and Caicos Islands

Dutch Caribbean

Aruba Bonaire Curaçao Saba Sint Eustatius (Statia) Sint Maarten

French West Indies

Guadeloupe Martinique Saint-Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Kingdom of Denmark


v t e

National anthems of Oceania and the Pacific Islands

National anthems

Australia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Federated States of Micronesia Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Regional anthems

American Samoa (U.S.) Cook Islands (N.Z.) Easter Island (Chile) French Polynesia (France) Guam (U.S.) Hawaii (U.S.) New Caledonia (France) Niue (N.Z.) Northern Mariana Islands (U.S.) Pitcairn Islands (U.K.) Tokelau (N.Z.) United States
United States
Minor Outlying Islands (U.S.) Wallis and Futuna (France)

Former anthems

Marshall Islands (1977–91) Federated States of Micronesia (1979–91)

v t e

War of 1812

Battles Campaigns Origins Chronology Results


Isaac Brock Andrew Jackson Francis Scott Key James Madison Laura Secord Tecumseh


Fort Detroit/Shelby Illinois Indiana Kentucky


Baltimore Beaver Dams Chateauguay Crysler's Farm Frenchtown Lundy's Lane New Orleans Queenston Heights Spur's Defeat Thames Washington


"The Bold Canadian" "The Hunters of Kentucky" "The Star-Spangled Banner"


Books Opposition in United States War of 1812
War of 1812


Tecumseh's War Creek War


v t e

National symbols of the United States


Flag of the United States Seal of the United States Bald eagle Uncle Sam Columbia General Grant (tree) American's Creed Pledge of Allegiance Rose Oak American bison Phrygian cap


"The Star-Spangled Banner" "Dixie" "America the Beautiful" "The Stars and Stripes Forever" "Hail to the Chief" "Hail, Columbia" "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" "God Bless America" "Lift Every Voice and Sing" "The Army Goes Rolling Along" "Anchors Aweigh" "Marines' Hymn" "Semper Fidelis" "The Air Force Song" "Semper Paratus" "National Emblem" " The Washington Post
The Washington Post
March" "Battle Hymn of the Republic" "Yankee Doodle" "You're a Grand Old Flag" "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" "This Land Is Your Land"


In God We Trust E Pluribus Unum Novus ordo seclorum Annuit cœptis


Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
(Liberty Enlightening the World) Liberty Bell Mount Rushmore National Mall

West Potomac Park

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 186293289 LCCN: n50081