Symbolic patriotism taken just a tad too far for me:
FISHERS, Ind. — Fishers High School students Wednesday will apologize for singing a faster version of the national anthem than the Hamilton Southeastern choir at Friday’s football game between the schools.
“We’ve addressed the issue with our students and they’ll be sending a letter of apology to the Hamilton Southeastern choir and the community of Fishers,” Fishers High School principal Jason Urban said today. “Student leaders will be appearing on our morning announcements and expressing the expectations we have (of fans) and they will show more reverence to the flag in the future.”
[. . .]
The student sections at both schools took good-natured shots at their rival in the pregame: Hamilton Southeastern students turned their backs while Fishers was introduced, and the Fishers students acted as if they were reading newspapers when it was the Royals’ turn. The singing, however, resulted in Urban and the Fishers athletic office receiving complaints.
“It was disrespectful to the national anthem and a sister school,” Karen Lozier said today. She attended the game and has a son in the Hamilton Southeastern marching band.
I dunno. Singing the anthem slightly faster seems like one of those good-natured stunts, too. Why is it any more disrespectful than turning your back or pretending to read the newspaper? Are we going to raise singing the anthem differently to the level of burning-the-flag intolerance? I like something that apparently annoys some people — singers who get creative and try to make the anthem their own. The Star Spangled Banner is meant to celebrate this country, and if individuality and creativity aren’t at the top of the list of things we should be celebrating, I must have missed another one of those meetings. So, lighten up, everybody, and take it away, Jimi.