What is a National Anthem?

A national anthem is a song that is used to represent and inspire patriotism in a country in an official capacity. It serves the same purpose as a country’s motto or flag. Occasionally, a multi-national organization will have its own anthem. A national anthem is chosen from a variety of musical genres. The music could be a fanfare, a hymn, a march, or another type of song.

The national anthem of a country is played at important events. When one of a country’s athletes wins an Olympic trial, for example, the national anthem is played. Local sporting events, such as baseball games and the Super Bowl, also use it.

The Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States, with music John Stafford Smith and words Francis Scott Key. The words were written on 14 September 1814 Key, who was detained the British, and were inspired the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after a brutal British attack. They were officially adopted in 1931. He expressed himself as follows:

Can you see, the early morning light, what I mean?

What did we hail so proudly at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Through the perilous fight, whose broad stripes and bright stars

Were they so gallantly streaming o’er the ramparts we watched?

And the red glare of the rockets, the explosions of bombs in the air

Our flag was still there at the end of the night, as proof.

Is that star-spangled banner still flying?

What do you think of the free country and the home of the brave?

Smith’s tune, “To Anacreon in Heaven,” inspired Key to write the lyrics. Both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “My Country ‘tis of Thee” were used as national anthems prior to 1931.

Some national anthems have never been approved the government. The British Isles’ hymn-like anthem, “God Save the Queen” (or King), has never been officially sanctioned, but it has been in use since the mid-eighteenth century. The United Nations has an unofficial national anthem with words W. H. Auden and music Pablo Casals.