Share story

BALTIMORE (AP) — A statue honoring the composition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been defaced in Baltimore.

News outlets report that red paint was sprayed on the statue in Baltimore’s Patterson Park. The words “Racist Anthem” were sprayed on a sidewalk leading up to the statue Monday morning.

The statue was built in 1914, paid for with pennies collected by Baltimore schoolchildren.

In September, a city statue dedicated to the anthem’s author, Francis Scott Key, was defaced.

Most Read Nation & World Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Key, a slaveholder, wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” after witnessing the bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

Police are investigating the vandalism.

Last year, Baltimore removed three statues honoring the Confederacy and another of former Chief Justice Roger B. Taney — Key’s brother-in-law — who wrote the Dred Scott decision upholding slavery.