Tuesday, May 02, 2006

José, Can You See?

Looks like Sen. Alexander is too late: the US government already commissioned a Spanish-language version of the Star-spangled Banner in 1919 (presumably to be sung by the Spanish-speaking citizens from annexed areas, among others.) Obviously, we should be sensitive to problems of meaning caused by translation, but veneration for the flag and the durability of the nation would seem to carry through with few complications. Raising a furor over a Spanish-language version of the anthem, moreover, seems to contravene the universality of rights embedded in documents more important than the national anthem, such as the Declaration of Independence ("We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ... .")


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