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No plans to remove monument to ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ writer

Paint covers part of the statue to Francis Scott Key, the writer of the Star Spangled Banner, after it was defaced overnight in downtown Baltimore, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. The words "Racist Anthem" were found painted on a monument, on the anniversary of the battle that inspired him to write the "The Star-Spangled Banner." Police are investigating, but have no suspects. (Colin Campbell/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s mayor says she has no plans to remove the city’s monument to Francis Scott Key that was recently vandalized.

The words “Racist Anthem” were painted on the monument’s base on the anniversary of the battle that inspired Key to write the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that Mayor Catherine Pugh also has directed art preservation experts to determine the cost of cleaning it up.

Key, who owned slaves, was inspired to write his verses by the Battle of Fort McHenry on Sept. 13-14, 1814 during the War of 1812.

The seldom-sung third verse says: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” Many believe it refers to slaves who fought for the British.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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