Far-left Salon: National anthem ‘another neo-Confederate symbol’

In a screed published Monday at the far-left Salon, staff writer Jefferson Morley referred to the Star-Spangled Banner as “another neo-Confederate symbol” and said that it’s time “to examine the words and the origins of our national anthem.”

Wait, what?  The national anthem — written during the War of 1812, decades before the existence of the Confederacy — is a “neo-Confederate symbol?”  Apparently so, according to Morley, who wrote:

[Francis Scott] Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” with its lyrics deriding black people who took up arms to gain their freedom in the War of 1812, became a point of pride for Southerners.

In the decades following the Civil War, the defeated South strove to establish rituals such as Memorial Day, which honored the veterans of northern and southern armies equally, implying equality of respect for their causes.

Honoring “The Star-Spangled Banner” was another such ritual. In 1914, on the centennial of Key’s writing the song, supporters launched a campaign to designate “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the one and only national anthem. At the time “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful” were also considered national anthems, especially in the northern states.

The campaign to elevate the “Banner” was, as one Boston magazine noted in 1914, “a sectarian movement.” That sect was the white supremacist South.

Writing at Newsbusters, Matthew Balan said that Morley “contended that the United States adopted the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ as its national anthem due to an ascendant “neo-Confederate spirit” during the decades after the Civil War. Morley played up that ‘observing Memorial Day and singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ are uncontroversial patriotic gestures, yet there is no disputing that neo-Confederates developed these rituals.'”

But, Balan said, Morley left out a considerable chunk of history in his declaration that the anthem, well, sucks.

As Balan noted, “decades before his examples of ‘neo-Confederates’ supporting the piece, the U.S. military had gradually adopted the “Star Spangled Banner” as an official piece of music.”

He added:

In 1889, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy (a native of New York and Medal of Honor recpient during the Civil War) ordered that the song be played at flag raisings for the military branch. Colonel Caleb Carlton started the tradition in the U.S. Army of playing the song at the daily lowering of the flag at Fort Meade, South Dakota in 1892.

Morley also didn’t mention that the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) actively lobbied to get the “Star Spangled Banner” officially recognized as the national anthem. The veterans’ organization got five million people to sign a petition in support of the piece’s adoption. The VFW endorsed a bill sponsored by Maryland Rep. Charles Linthicum, but its passage “stalled on the House floor because of the objection from a Mississippi representative.”

How convenient.

Eventually, Morley said, “The Southerners won the war in March 1931” when President Herbert Hoover officially made The Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem.

“Those who wanted ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to serve as the national anthem could not have been more explicit in their politics,” Morley added. “The Confederate flag… was also a star-spangled banner.”

Actually, what Morley refers to as the “Confederate flag” was actually the battle flag, intended to distinguish Confederate units from Union forces in an effort to prevent friendly fire.  It was never intended to be the official ensign of the Confederacy.  That fell to something called the “Stars and Bars,” which did resemble the Stars and Stripes.

At this point, Morley isn’t calling for the national anthem to be replaced — yet.

Writing at Truth Revolt, Trey Sanchez noted Morley’s opening line: “Confederate war

memorials are just the beginning.”

“Yeah, Morley, we see you,” Sanchez wrote.


Reaction to Morley’s piece didn’t go over too well on Twitter:


Please don’t give them any ideas.

One person suggested:


Actor James Woods minced no words:

We agree.

On a final note, we bring you — the Star-Spangled Banner:

Suck it up, snowflakes.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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