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Goshen College dumps 'Star-Spangled Banner' as too bombastic, prefers 'America the Beautiful'


When Francis Scott Key witnessed the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, he was inspired to see in the light of explosions that the relatively new country's flag had survived.

So, he wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner," which became the national anthem of the United States of America.

Even though there would likely not be a United States of America without that second combat against Great Britain, all that red rocket glare and bombs bursting in air business is a tad too militaristic for Indiana's Goshen College.

So officials there have banned "The Star-Spangled Banner" at athletic events.

The seeming celebration of combat "seemed inconsistent to the entire message we were trying to send," said Richard Aguirre, a spokesman for the Mennonite institution. Officials were especially concerned about the song's impact on foreign students.

As a result, from now on they've opted instead to play "America the Beautiful."

How does this strike you? And how do you feel about the songs?

Above, we have one video version of the national anthem. And below we have one version of "America the Beautiful."

Faith Hill sings both.


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-- Andrew Malcolm

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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