Vandals scrawl 'Racist Anthem' on Francis Scott Key monument

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

The monument's defacement comes on the 203rd anniversary of the day America's national anthem was written, and the anniversary of Key's inspiration for its verses.

Key wrote the poem while being held captive by the British in a ship off the coast of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

Police responded to a report of vandalism at 6:30 a.m. and found the 106-year-old statue splattered with red and pink paint and the words "Racist Anthem", and "Slave Owner", scrawled in black on its base, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Baltimore police are investigating the apparent vandalism of the city's Francis Scott Key Monument on Eutaw Place in Bolton Hill.

Proponents of removing the monuments say they represent racism and white supremacy, while supporters of the monuments defend them as part of the history of the U.S. However, authorities have no surveillance footage to show evidence of who may be responsible. "There's a way to go about doing this that Baltimore, of any place has seen how to go about doing that", police spokesman T.J. Smith said.

American lawyer Francis Scott Key (1779 - 1843), circa 1810.

Vandals also spray painted "No refuge could save, Hireling or slave/ From terror of flight, Or gloom of grave", verses from Key's poem "The Star Spangled Banner", in front of the statue.

The mayor, Catherine Pugh, said the city has no plans to take down the statute.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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