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The problem with anthems and patriotism, Lynn News Letters



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It must be doubtful if any anthem was ever sung with more gusto than the German selection in the thirties. Anthems and the dramatic performance of them have contributed to some of the worst eras in world history. They mostly make an unwarranted assumption of superiority, and nestle comfortably with the xenophobic populism we unfortunately see today.

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KMG USE ONLY COPYRIGHT: Getty Images/iStockphotoSUBMITTED BY: Thinkstock, 0800 028 6268Slug: engflag KE 070114Caption: The Union flag of the UKCategory: Human interestCopyright: Thinkstock, 0800 028 6268 FM2977037 (2776618)

The patriotism aroused by anthems and associated fist-pumping pride feed the self-interest which has led to catastrophes, and is hugely contributing to our own current national dilemma and division.

More appropriate than any tub-thumping anthem is our own testament to fallen heroes best represented by the phrase “Lest We Forget”, but even that honourable sentiment requires a careful and constant vigil that is not always observed. For example, we hear much about acceptance of those immigrants that would serve our “self-interest”, (a common inference of many anthems), whereas proper consideration for people fleeing violence or poverty should actually be in their interest. Were that understanding continue to be ignored in our decision-making process we will already have sadly begun the process of forgetfulness that our anthemic sentiment warns us against.

I Christie

Dersingham



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