Offbeat: Star Spangled Rewrite

By Bob Snell - bio | email feedback

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - After witnessing the assault on Ft. McHenry in the battle of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote the words to what eventually became known as the Star Spangled Banner, the U.S. National Anthem. But what if Mr. Key had not seen the stars and stripes and saw the British flag raised instead? That's the perspective taken by a nine year old Trumann girl.

Katie Stanton, along with her other fellow 4th graders, was given that school assignment and when she finished, Katie received the highest grade in the class.  Katie's single verse version is unique and has given many pause.

"O say! We have failed and to the enemy we now hail.                                                                 For the stripes are gone and the stars are done.                                                                         America's down and the Britons hold the crown.                                                                             The war is lost and our freedom it cost.                                                                                         O say! Are the Britons full of glee?                                                                                                  We are no longer brave and no longer free!"

Katie said, "I know that freedom comes with a cost and if we had lost to the Britons things would not be the same.  We might not have the same freedoms we have today."

Katies father is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and said it was difficult for him to hear the first time.

"I just cried," said Charles Stanton. "I mean to hear that perspective from a 9 year old, it makes you think. Her mother and I have always tried to teach her the importance of freedom and what its cost our nation, but you don't know it's sunk in until you hear something like that. We are free and we must continue to fight and sacrifice to hold on to that freedom."

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