- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A statue memorializing Francis Scott Key, the writer of “The Star Spangled Banner,” was found vandalized Wednesday morning in Baltimore.

The words, “Racist anthem,” and lyrics from the national anthem were spray painted on the base of the large, Bolton Hill statue and the ground surrounding it.

“No refuge could save hireling or slave, From terror of flight or gloom of grave,” the graffiti read, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The statue, which was restored and rededicated in 1999, depicts Key in a row boat holding a manuscript of his poem up to the gilded Columbia, which stands at the top of the statue, waving a flag.

A large amount of red or pink paint was splattered on the statue, which also stained the fountain waters, according to video footage shot by a local ABC affiliate.

Baltimore Police are investigating, but have no suspects.

The vandalism comes amid national backlash over Confederate-era and other non-inclusive monuments. Baltimore quietly removed four monuments honoring Confederate-era figures last month following violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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