Not Playing the National Anthem Could Soon Be Illegal in Wisconsin
Playing the National Anthem before sports events here in the U.S. has been a tradition for a while now. But a new proposal over in Wisconsin could make it ILLEGAL to skip playing the Star-Spangled Banner.
Playing the National Anthem before any sporting event is a tradition that dates back to before any of us were born. In fact, this USA Today story says that the song itself (officially titled The Star-Spangled Banner) was written by Francis Scott Key about the War of 1812, but started popping up at baseball games during the Civil War in the mid-1860s (which, if you're scoring along at home, is about the same time Mayo Clinic was formed.)
Its popularity really took off, though, the story said, when it was played before the World Series in 1918. (That was despite the fact that it wasn't even technically the National Anthem then-- Congress wouldn't make it official until 1931, the story noted.) Recently, though, playing the National Anthem before some professional sporting events has drawn controversy.
ESPN noted that the NBA's Dallas Mavericks stirred things up when fans noticed in early February that they had stopped playing the Anthem before their home games. (They've since started again, though, after the NBA quickly intervened.)
It's with that spirit, I guess, that over in my home state of Wisconsin, there's been a proposal to pass a law that would REQUIRE the National Anthem to be played before any sports event in a venue that taxpayer money helped build. In Wisconsin, that'd apply to any games played by the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks.
According to this Wisconsin Public Radio story, while it would make playing the anthem mandatory before those games, there wouldn't be a penalty if, in fact, it wasn't played. (So, why even HAVE it then, I wonder?) The story also said, though, that because the proposal is from a Republican state representative and Wisconsin's current governor, Tony Evers, is a Democrat, it isn't likely to pass.
Should it, though? And should Minnesota lawmakers pass a similar law during the legislative session in St. Paul that would apply to Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Lynx and Wild games? After all, Minnesota taxpayers helped pay for the venues those teams all play their games in. Then again, maybe it isn't it needed here after all, seeing as all of those organizations DO, in fact, still play the anthem before their home games.)
And while playing the National Anthem is one of those traditions most places still uphold, there are also several traditions involved with our national flag, Old Glory. Did you know there are 14 different mistakes we commonly make when handling and display our flag? Keep scrolling to check them out!