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US Footballers Protest During National Anthem, But it Remains a Song to Slavery

Newsclick reproduces an article about how the US National Anthem actually justifies slavery.
NFL Players

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!’”

US President Donald Trump said this during a recent rally seeking support for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange.

Trump was referring to an incident where Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, knelt during the National Anthem — as protest against the gunning down of two unarmed Black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by the police.

Since Trump’s speech, many football players in the US have registered their protest by locking arms and kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. The debate has heated up to an extent where Trump has asked for rules barring players from kneeling during the anthem.

But did you know that the US National Anthem actually justifies slavery? Newsclick reproduces an article that explains how.

The United States celebrated the Fourth of July, its “Independence Day”, as usual, with fireworks, parades and competitive hot dog eating.

While the festivities and shows of patriotism attract much press coverage, few pause to think about the meaning of the US national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was adopted as the national anthem in 1931, but its lyrics, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, reveal some forgotten aspects about the history of the country.

The very first stanza of the poem contains these lines:

"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there".

Not many people know that the rockets mentioned here refer specifically to the Congreve rockets which the British used against the Americans during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key, the author of the anthem, was an American prisoner on a British ship, and witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the battle. Key could see the flag flying over the fort lit up by the Congreve rockets – which inspired him to pen the poem. Read more

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