Letter to the Editor: Maryland Should Repeal Our Pro-Confederate State Song

Dear Editor

In the aftershock of the violent death of George Floyd by the four Minneapolis Police officers, our country is again coming to grips with the racist past of the Confederate States of America and the many symbols and monuments dedicated to the traitors who served that lost cause.

Everywhere across the South statues of terrorist generals and soldiers are being knocked over and destroyed by multi-racial crowds of protesters. The Confederacy was always about hate and not heritage.

Even that bastion of Southern Pride, the NASCAR auto racing organization, is banning the Rebel flag from their events. The tide has really turned.

But not in Maryland. Our horrible and ugly state song, Maryland, My Maryland, still survives. Unless the Maryland General Assembly has a special session before January 2021, the soonest we can officially repeal the anthem would be the spring of 2021.

That is why I am calling on Governor Larry Hogan to issue a proclamation, or at least an official statement, that requests that the current state song, Maryland, My Maryland, not be performed by the Navy Choir at the Preakness Stakes this fall. If the Governor has the power to close businesses, schools, churches and postpone elections with the stroke of a pen, he can surely find a way to silence the singing of that ode to the Confederacy at Pimlico on October 3rd.

The letter below was sent by Sean Tully to Baltimore’s City Council:
Dear City Council,

I have written to you many times in the past requesting that you pass a resolution that states that the pro-Confederate Maryland state song “Maryland, My Maryland” is not welcomed to be sung in the city of Baltimore (or however you want to word it). And here we are again at another period when the nation is crying out for jurisdictions to put there Confederate symbols and inspirations away in the dark corners of the museums and books where they belong and yet Maryland does nothing about our anthem that is nothing more than state-sanctioned hate speech. NASCAR has answered the call. But when the Preakness Stakes is held in Baltimore this fall we can all get weepy-eyed as the Navy Choir sings out our old ode the racism, “Maryland, My Maryland” on national television.

I have written a suitable substitution (see below) song that uses the same melody as our current one. I think the fourth stanza would be perfect for the Preakness. But I’m not even asking you to name my song a viable alternative. Just do a resolution that requests the Governor to make an announcement that the state song is not suitable to be sung at the Preakness. Just do something! Anything!