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Francis Scott Key and the "Star Spangled Banner" - Research Paper Example

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The Star Spangled Banner, an ode to the victorious war against the British at Fort M’Henry is both revered and hated by the people it is supposedly praising and representing. Most people still believe the banner should continue serving as the American anthem, despite none of…
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Francis Scott Key and the "Star Spangled Banner"
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Francis Scott Key and the "Star Spangled Banner"

Download file to see previous pages... Penned more than two hundred years ago, the Star Spangled Banner is hailed as America’s national anthem. Written at a time when the country was facing series of attacks from the British, the song does not hide its distaste for the enemy and its profound pride when the nation’s flag remained firmly etched on the ground after the war, a sign of victory. Although it is still regarded as a musical and iconic symbol of the country, critics have deemed the Star Spangled Banner as violent and overtly boastful. The question is: should the song be discarded as the national anthem for being violent and boastful?
Since he was a prominent attorney at the time, Francis Scott Key was sent to negotiate the release of William Beanes from the British fleet at Baltimore. As part of the negotiations, Key and his allies presented British prisoners in exchange for Beanes. The deal was sealed; however, the British had one extra demand- Key and his allies were not to leave until they witnessed the destruction of Baltimore. They had no option but to oblige as the British ship was heavily guarded and they had no soldiers to redeem them from captivity.
The ensuing battle between the British forces and Fort McHenry lasted for 25 hours. When Key saw the American flag was still standing the next day, he knew the British had been defeated. The victory stirred Key to write the Star Spangled Banner lyrics. On September 20, 1814, the Baltimore Patriots published the poem, christened as “Defence of Fort M’Henry”. The poem became a song once it was sung to the tune of a song belonging to the British Anacreontic Society known as “To Anacreon in Heaven”. The military adopted it to be their theme song during the First World War and subsequently, the congress and president Herbert Hoover raised it to the national anthem in 1931. (Maryland, n.d.)
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