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America's Flag - In Between the Lines

by Luna Azcurrain

Backstory on the National Anthem:

"On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America's national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' The poem, originally titled 'The Defence of Fort M'Henry,' was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812" (

Artist's Statement:

I chose to write an erasure poem from America’s National Anthem ("The Star-Spangled Banner") because in many texts we have read and discussed in AP English, the concepts of patriotism, being a “real American” and even nationalism have been brought up. We can see this in Kindred by Octavia Butler, Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

This poem is trying to show the hypocrisy within a huge part of American culture. America’s national anthem is one of the most well known anthems across the globe and it’s viewed as a dishonor to not stand while it’s being sung. To sing the national anthem is to show your patriotism and love for this country, and this poem is meant to show you what this anthem is saying in between the lines and what it means to be American.

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