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As Long as We Remember...

Leave Our State Song Alone!

February 6, 2002

I have an issue with the bill to change the state song. Why? Give me one good reason, for I have not seen one yet.

To rant for just a minute, I would like to discuss the primary issue with the song. It relates to the Civil War. And that is wrong? The Civil War was a key event in the shaping of these United States, and don't assault me if I say that the wrong side won. I do, deep in my heart, believe that enslavement of anyone is wrong. But that is not what the "War of Northern Aggression" was about.

The Southern States believed in something which is a myth these days, a small federal government. The purpose of a centralized federal government is solely for protection. From foreign armies, from terrorism, and from ourselves.

The Confederate States of America believed that the federal government overstepped its bounds trying to enforce moral standards on their citizens, and felt that any decision as large as that should be decided by the individual states, not by Washington. In other words, the government was overstepping its bounds. That would be akin to Dubya trying to outlaw skateboards, because some skateboarders might not be upstanding, church-going members of society. (No offense meant to skateboarders of the world.) How would you like that? And should it be up to him, or to the individual states and its voters?

Back on topic, the song celebrates Maryland's valiant history and courageous heart. One line, in particular, stirs my soul.

"Better the fire upon thee roll,

Better the blade, the shot, the bowl,

Than crucifixion of the soul,

Maryland! My Maryland!"

This line says that Maryland would rather give her life than give up her morality. Sounds to me a bit like, "Give me Liberty or Give me Death", Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

So are we saying that the Declaration of Independence should be rewritten, as to not offend any possible English-Americans?

In summation, I do not even see why a bill proposing to change the words of our state song should even be considered by logical and intelligent people.

First of all, we aren't trying to overthrow the government today, or tomorrow, or the next day.

Secondly, the Civil War had as much to do with slavery as skateboarders with crime. Lastly, this smells too much like the changing of the Georgia State Flag. The bleeding-heart liberals and the NAACP are convinced that the Southern Cross is a rally flag for the KKK. This is merely a symbol of history, for no slave owner ever flew this flag. This flag was originally flown by Confederate troops in the field, and a version by the CSA Navy, but never flew over the CSA nation.

Finally, today is not the time to be screaming "poor me" about a song that is more than a century old. If you want attention from your ancestor's plight, reparations for what your ancestors went through, tough. I pay taxes so that the greatest military in history can protect me, not so that Mr. John Q. Public from Georgia can claim "mental anguish" at accidentally seeing a symbol of "hatred" while driving through his State Capital, or at hearing the words "Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!" at a, umm... (who DOES sing the Maryland State song, anyway?)

And if you do not believe that anyone would try and get money for this, You are mistaken. There are all kinds of freeloaders in this world.

"As recently as August of 1998, a lawsuit was heard that claimed the flag violates the constitutional rights of equal protection and free speech of black residents. " - (I searched for "Georgia Flag")

I used to think that those who still saluted the Southern Cross were an archaic bunch. But after educating myself, I came to look upon them with added respect, even if we still don't agree on all issues. And I have become a part of this "archaic bunch".

Patrick Covert, Middletown

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