Published in the Orlando Sentinel - Today July 11, 2020
**Other Options for our national anthem should not be dismissed.
I wrote this letter to the Orlando Sentinel in regards to a column written by a guest columnist, Choice Edwards. They did print my letter with some adjustments. I actually liked their version a little better, which is unusual as they typically hack away at my letters, sometimes removing the meat of what I was saying. The struggles of a writer !!
Anyway, here is the original version. If you don't get the Orlando Sentinel and want to read their version, then comment below and I'll send it to you.
"I read the column by Choice Edwards regarding a change to the National Anthem (Banner should give way to more unifying anthem) with great interest as I see the Star Spangled Banner as a song that sprang from a relatively minor war (the war of 1812) in our nation's history and that focuses on the flag of our country rather than our country ! In addition, it has only been our official anthem since 1931 so is not a sacrosanct aspect of our nation such as the constitution. Mr. Edwards points out one of the historical reasons for the Star Spangled Banner becoming our nation's national anthem was at the hands of American leadership ever worried about offending the citizens of the south back in the early 20th century. We should all step back and recognize, finally, that the Confederacy was a traitorous rebellion that ended the lives of 500,000 young Americans in the Civil War in a futile effort to maintain a southern economy based on human bondage. It's certainly no longer necessary to be cautious regarding any nostalgia for the old south (and I say that as a son of the south on both sides of my ancestry). It is appropriate to consider a new national anthem that holds us together as a multicultural people victorious against tyranny and oppression. A national anthem that celebrates the beauty and ideals of America. A song that draws us all to stand up."