Maryland leaders pushing to eliminate ‘Confederate-sympathizing’ state song

Maryland leaders pushing to eliminate ‘Confederate-sympathizing’ state song

By Jake Dima

Maryland state legislators are gaining momentum to eliminate the state’s 1861 anthem that has ties to the Civil War-era Confederate themes.

“Maryland, My Maryland” referred to Union fighters as “the Northern scum” and lambasted former President Abraham Lincoln as a “despot” whose “heel is on thy shore,” according to the Associated Press. Lawmakers have pushed to do away with the century-old tune since 1974, but believe now is the time to remove the anthem for good amid racial justice protests that followed the death of George Floyd, the Associated Press reported.

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“Confederate-sympathizing language is not representative of who we are as a state any longer,” Democratic state House Speaker Adrienne Jones said, according to the AP. “This session, we will pass legislation to repeal the state song so we can better reflect our current values of unity, diversity and inclusion.”

“We have come too far as a state and as a country to continue to embrace symbols of hate and division.”

Democratic state Sen. Cheryl Kagan said she’s “cautiously optimistic” that the song will be repealed in 2021.

“The challenge has been in the past acknowledging our history while also wanting to fix it and remove the offensive parts of our history,” Kagan told the news wire. “We can’t keep brushing this under the carpet and ignoring it.”

Much of Maryland, which sits below the Mason-Dixon line, backed the Confederacy during the Civil War, although it never formally seceded, according to the Washington Examiner.

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