Ryan Alexander-Tanner

There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the national anthem recently, and... I’m sorry, I should capitalize that, right? National Anthem. There, that’s better. I could probably be more respectful, actually. I’m not sure it’s enough to just capitalize the first letter of each word. I mean, damn, I capitalize the first letters of Burger and King and I’m supposed to sit here and pretend that Burger King deserves just as much respect as the National Anthem? The whole reason we founded this country was so we wouldn’t be under the boot heel of an unchecked monarchy, and here I am grammatically kneeling before a King? Not just any king, either—a German (burger!) king!? No. No! No, I will not see my patriotism corrupted by the AP Style Guide’s relentless disregard for the sacrifices made by the troops. It’s the red, white, and blue, not the red, Strunk & White, and blue. I’m going to spell it NATIONAL ANTHEM, and if you don’t like it, move to Belgrade.

There. NATIONAL ANTHEM. That feels respectful enough. So there’s been a lot of discussion surround the NATIONAL ANTHEM recently, and....

No. It’s not enough. It’s not. There are other anthems. Other people shouldn’t be allowed to make anthems, it should be a right reserved for the United States of America... I’m sorry, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and it should be used exclusively to honor the troops. I’m sorry, The Troops. I’m sorry, THE TROOPS. Did you know there’s a song called International Players Anthem? Disgusting, right? I mean, International? Is there something wrong with American players? The rappers who recorded this song should be horrified with themselves, but I doubt they have the decency. After all, the band’s name is UGK. Does that stand for Ungrateful Godless Klutzes? I WISH. It stands for Underground Kingz. Kings, again, eh!? I might have known. Another cocktail of phlegm and spittle flung from the lips of treacherous loyalists. It’s target? The NATIONAL ANTHEM and THE TROOPS it represents.

So what alternatives do we have? A coward or a communist or a French woman might suggest we call the song by its given name, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but we mustn’t. For one, what kind of a word is “spangled”? Honestly, it sounds like something the aforementioned French woman came up with. I know it sounds like “strangle,” which is a good start, but it also starts with the same two letters as “spaghetti” which is, once again, international. Is there something wrong with American pasta? Also, if we stop calling it the NATIONAL ANTHEM, then other countries will think that their national anthems are on the same level as our NATIONAL ANTHEM, which has been endowed by GOD and PRESIDENTS as the NATIONAL ANTHEM. It has been endowed with the justified exclusivity of the sacred “the.”

The closest we can come to the proper amount of respect for our country’s song is by referring to it as “The Star-Strangled Banner, which is the NATIONAL ANTHEM. PEACE BE UPON HIM.”

Anyway, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is the NATIONAL ANTHEM. PEACE BE UPON HIM lately, and....