On September 15, Americans celebrated the 200th anniversary of the USA’s national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner.” A siege on Fort McHenry in 1814 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem. The battle raged on overnight, but when morning arrived the American flag was still flying high.
What many people don’t know is that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially translated into Spanish. Part of the Good Neighbor Policy of 1945, people entered their translations in a contest. Peruvian immigrant Clotilde Arias worked tirelessly on a translation that was true to the English lyrics yet musically beautiful. Her “El Pendon Estrellado” won the contest, and her lyrics are what we hear to today when the national anthem is sung in Spanish.