Former Republican Congressman Allen West of Florida lashed out at singer Lady Gaga on Monday for “defiling” the U.S. National Anthem.
“We are the land of the free because America has always been the home of the brave from Lexington and Concord to Kandahar,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “This young lady should be taken to Ft. McHenry and given a history lesson as to why Francis Scott Key wrote those words incredible words [sic].”
Lady Gaga sang The Star-Spangled Banner at the New York Gay Pride Parade on Friday, but replaced “star-spangled banner” with “star-spangled flag of pride” and replaced “home of the brave” with “home for the gays.”
Though some might view the ability to artistically re-interpret and revise the National Anthem as a hallmark of American freedom, West is not of that opinion. Changing the lyrics was an attack on the nation.
“In this week where we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the 237th anniversary of our Independence is further evidence of the level of ignorance and disrespect some have for our national character,” West added. “She and all those who cheered her abomination should be ashamed and apologize to every serving and retired member of our Armed Services. But perhaps I ask too much…”
Lady Gaga is by no means to first musician to face accusations of dishonoring the National Anthem by altering it. Psychedelic rocker Jimi Hendrix — an Air Force veteran — previously stirred up controversy by blasting out a trippy rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969. Long before Jimi, composer Igor Stravinsky was confronted by police for tampering with The Star-Spangled Banner in the 1940s.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Lisa Murphy, below: