The Spanish Olympic Committee has withdrawn the proposed words to the Spanish national anthem on the grounds that they were "divisive" -- not to mention embarrassingly bland. Now the Spanish athletes who win during the upcoming games (presuming some do) will have to merely stand at attention and hum.
Meanwhile, one of my favorite political commentators, Timothy Garton Ash, has taken a look at national anthems in general:
"The history of national anthems is a history of embarrassment," he says, and the only really successful one is "martial, bloodthirsty and presents a heroic us trumpeting defiance at an evil them." A good anthem requires a horrible common enemy, he concludes. We will only get the world anthem we deserve when the Martians invade.
Any science fiction poets want to take on that project so we'll be prepared?