Maryland may soon be forced to change its state song “Maryland, My Maryland,” after an advisory panel said the song is too racist.
According to the state advisory panel the lyrics of the Civil War-era song, which refers to Abraham Lincoln as a “despot” and called on Maryland to join the Confederacy, doesn’t reflect the feelings of the people of Maryland, The Washington Post reports.
In replacing the 150-year-old song, the panel recommended adopting “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the state song. Its author, Francis Scott Key, was from Maryland and it is about a battle that took place in Baltimore.
The panel also suggested simply abandoning the idea of having a state song. New Jersey is the only state in the union that does not have an official state song.
Timothy Baker, the chairman of the group and also a state archivist, told The Baltimore Sun, “no one is looking to ban the state song,” but said the state song should be “reflective of all Marylanders.”
Maryland State Sen. Ronald Young has already filed legislation that would repeal the state song written by James Ryder Randall and replace it with a song with the same title written by John White, a poet from Maryland.
Young told the Post the song is “the only state song that calls for the overthrow of government. It’s just not appropriate.”
The call to change the state song is just the latest attempt in a years-long battle over issue. All previous attempts to change the song have failed, and activists face a big obstacle this time around as well.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has repeatedly voiced opposition to the song change, calling it simply “political correctness run amok.”
“Where do we stop? Do we get rid of the George Washington statues out here and take down all the pictures from all the people from the Colonial era that were slave owners?” Hogan told the Post.
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