“The Star-Spangled Banner” has been the official anthem of America since 1931, when Congress enshrined it in law.
The song was controversial then because it was considered a drinking song, and it’s controversial today -- albeit for different reasons. In 2020, scholars and activists asked whether “The Star-Spangled Banner” should be revisited as the country’s national anthem because the song’s writer, Francis Scott Key, was a slave owner.
A YouGov poll of more than 25,000 US adults finds that most (60%) Americans do not want to see the national anthem changed. About one in seven people (15%) say the national anthem should be replaced with another song, and fewer (6%) think it should be removed and not replaced.
Republicans (86%) are particularly likely to say that The Star-Spangled Banner should continue to be the American national anthem. About three in five (61%) Independents and 49 percent of Democrats agree. About one in five (21%) Democrats would be in favor of the national anthem being replaced with another song.
Some of the alternatives to The Star-Spangled Banner that have been suggested include “America the Beautiful,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
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