“The Star-Spangled Banner” doesn’t seem that racist, as long as you skip the later verses and ignore
the white supremacist who wrote it. Taking those aspects into account, however, some activists are
calling for America to find a new national anthem, and one popular proposal has put forth John Lennon’s
“Imagine”.“But wait,” you may be saying. “I’ve sung ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ for years, and I’m not racist.

Besides, those patriotic high notes really make my rocket glare.” And it’s true, the one verse that we trot out
at sporting events is merely unsettlingly violent, rather than outwardly prejudiced. If that’s the only part of
Francis Scott Key’s 1814 poem that you’re familiar with, then the history behind the third verse will be a bit
of a shocker.