Do you think they should remove the third verse of The Star Spangled Banner ? With it's reference to slavery?

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12 Answers

Jann Nikka Profile
Jann Nikka answered

It is what it is. Our country should move forward.

Don Barzini Profile
Don Barzini answered

Honestly Rooster, if you asked most folks, they might not be aware there is a third verse. Certainly no one sings it, few know the words. Much ado about so minor a thing.

Slavery was a fact of that age, we do no one any justice by censoring it out. Also a common topic in classical literature, even the Bible and Qu'ran both mention slavery, we wouldn't consider censoring any of that. Once you start down that path, where's the line drawn?

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Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
That's a shame ! Rudyard Kipling is one of the greatest writers ever !
Don Barzini
Don Barzini commented
This is the path of censorship. Who wins? Tyranny. I was ambivalent about the removal of Civil War statues from various places, where does it stop. I mean Washington and Jefferson both owned slaves, do we blast them off Mt. Rushmore?
Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
I was a little upset over the statues myself ! Robert E. Lee was really a great man ! Nathan Bedford Forrest ? Not so great !
Ray  Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

The most common version of "God Save the Queen" here in the Uk contains the verse:

"Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King."

Crushing rebellious Scots? No wonder they sing "Flower of Scotland" instead, an insipid feeble little tune.

Matt Radiance Profile
Matt Radiance answered

This is part of the unfortunate history and will carry as long as possible.

As long as i see this idea that history can not be changed. Pretty much it can easily be changed. People are weak and political power by time and effort and new education over the new generations everything can get changed and removed without people notice it ever existed. "Animal Farm" and "1984" " are must read books for everyone to get a concept of this idea.

And we don't need to remove it. It's been removed already. For many years this is the anthem that people are singing. Slavery verses are long gone for many many years. Less percent of people singing those today.

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Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
The second link works fine. What really bums me out is that the 49ers were my favorite team also. Now I root for the Raiders. The whole damn thing is stupid ! I wonder what his white parents think about this as they adopted him and raised him and sent him to College!
Matt Radiance
Matt Radiance commented
The whole damn thing is indeed stupid!! really! yeaa! this country has problems! ? i wonder how he got this freedom and opportunity to be NFL player and pursuit his career like this! we're not issue free, sure. but this is so incorrect and just as stupid as you can tell! plus it reflects a negative image toward the world as well which is not good at all.
Have you seen this ? wish we had more coaches like him right now. https://youtu.be/vyoVGCebUfw
Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
Yep !
Ancient One Profile
Ancient One answered

I believe this is the third verse. I also believe the assumptions made as to the writers' intentions are just that assumptions. Having said that, I also believe at the time slavery was the norm (wrong as it was) and certain people were considered as and in many areas legally defined as property. Should we re-write history, or make changes to correct past wrongs?  I would think it better to teach and use (and not hide or erase) these issues as examples in order to prevent the future from committing the same wrongs.

"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 wash’d out their foul footstep’s 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."

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Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
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.
Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
No one ever even sings that verse !
Maurice Korvo Profile
Maurice Korvo answered

I have a problem understanding that verse. Is it saying that the "hirelings and slaves" no longer have hope, or is it saying that they are free under the US flag?

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Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
Hard to tell and it doesn't make sense to protest it.
Maurice Korvo
Maurice Korvo commented
Rooster.. You are an American ,and you are in charge here.. You are supposed to know all the answers!!
Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
LOL . You never even hear that verse sung ! This one I can't answer. I quit !
John McCann Profile
John McCann answered

Slavery?

Slavery is history, bad history, but still something that happened in the real world.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto - "In God is our trust,"

This bit of malarkey irks me about the anthem.

Why give props to delusion?

Why trust a delusion?

Our motto is E Pluibus Unum!!!

Virginia Lou Profile
Virginia Lou answered

Dear Rooster,

This turned out to be a really interesting Q, I learned lots!

Basically my answer would be NO, leave the poor old song alone...           First of all nobody even seems to know now what Francis Scott Key meant by those lines about slavery.

* * *

However, I myself DO like political correctness. Before there was even a name for it, African-American co-workers and friends in 1967 San Francisco would say; "Oh please don't say it that way, say it like this instead?"

My speech was loaded with racist colloquialisms...I enjoyed learning a more cosmopolitan way of expression. Then when gender bias came up in the 1980's I adapted my speech further. Again it was fun.

Apparently this 3rd-verse controversy arose out of Colin Kaepernick protest? This article gives the argument against that third verse. And interestingly, the verse was already taken out for a while not to offend Britain in WWI !

https://theintercept.com/2016/08/28/colin-kaepernick-is-righter-than-you-know-the-national-anthem-is-a-celebration-of-slavery/

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Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
I've read that article and Colin Kaepernick is one of my favorite players. I just don't understand him with this protest as his black Father took off when he was a baby and his white Mother was a druggie. White parents adopted him and raised him and sent him to College. Now he makes 11.5 million dollars a year as a 49er. I still don't understand him at all.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Rooster I looked him up on the Internet...he's quite religious. Actually so am I, as you know, however his is the kind of religion that made me go atheist for thirty years.
He is 28 y/o, old enough to know better, seems to me he's just not thinking very well.
Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
He gets to start this Sunday at Buffalo. If he does lousy ? He will fade away. If he does good ? This protest will only get larger.
Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

Interesting question.  Of course, most of sang it (or tried to) in grade school.  The fact that I and probably many many others could never hit those high notes is part of the reason that I was unaware (or perhaps just forgot) it there are 4 total verses.

At any rate, My answer is "no"---but not on principle, but because I am older and exercise my right to not involve myself in everything that comes across my dashboard.

But as I said, interesting---and here's a link I found that makes is so for me:  http://theundefeated.com/features/lets-take-the-national-anthem-literally-and-the-songwriter-at-his-word/

And to save someone the trouble of looking it up, here's verses 3 & 4:

(And the word freeman is defined as:  In U.S. Colonial times, a person not under legal restraint.)

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 wash'd out their foul footstep's 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 lov'd home and the war's desolation!

Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd 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.


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