After reading about President Trump’s comments that the professional football players who refuse to stand during the singing of the national anthem should be fired, I was reminded of a post I shared about fifteen months ago titled We the People. In addition, I couldn’t stop thinking about the national anthem.
Why do we even sing the national anthem at sporting events? Even more so, why are sporting events the only place I usually ever hear the national anthem being sung. While I’m sure it is occasionally sung at other times, mostly likely on the 4th of July and other patriotic holidays; the other 99% of the time it is appears to be sung only at sporting events. Why?
Maybe it should be sung at the beginning of every concert, play, meeting, religious or social gathering. Again, why? “The Star Spangled Banner” is a song about a flag and war. If we are going to sing a song, then we should be singing a song about the people. The athletes refusing to stand during the national anthem are doing so out of concern for the treatment of people.
This is why our national anthem should be something like “America the Beautiful.” I know this has been an ongoing debate for years, but at least “America the Beautiful” (some lyrics cited below) is about the people.
And crown thy good with BROTHERHOOD
From sea to shining sea.
Oh, beautiful for PILGRIM feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
Oh, beautiful for HEROES proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
Oh, beautiful for PATRIOT dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by HUMAN tears!
I know some of the concerns with adopting this song as the national anthem is related to the references to God, and if everyone in the country were to actually read all verses of the “The Star-Spangled Banner”, you would learn that the fourth verse also references God:
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.
The flag is just a symbol, designed to set us apart from other nations and remind us of the country we live in. Yes, we should respect the flag, but we should not “Pledge Allegiance to the Flag”; which brings me to my last point. The last five words of the Pledge of Allegiance are, “…liberty and justice for all.”
We must remember that it is not the flag that creates “liberty and justice for all”; it is the PEOPLE. What we should all do is PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to the PEOPLE. We should be working together to create a nation of love, peace, respect, harmony, endurance, and strength. This applies not only to us as individuals helping each other. To bring liberty and justice for all, we must also choose to help ourselves; choose to take responsibility for our own lives by doing what is right.