Anthem practices shouldn’t be viewed as sacrosanct, and no one would think the absence of an anthem unpatriotic if expectations were set differently. Professional sports don’t start their competitions with the Pledge of Allegiance, and that is hardly considered an act of treason. Nor do we play the anthem before movies, as is mandatory in India. Furthermore, “The Star-Spangled Banner” wasn’t sanctioned by Congress as our national anthem until 1931. Earlier in the history of baseball, the anthem was played during the seventh-inning stretch. It was only during World War II that the anthem was played regularly at the beginning of each game, rather than for special games alone, such as the World Series.
I was pleased and honored two weeks ago to speak at Northwood University’s annual Freedom Week. Here’s a video of my talk, which was on trade. (Many thanks to Alex, Kristin, Eli, and all the others at Northwood for inviting me to participate and for making my visit so pleasant.)