The Rushingbrook Children’s Choir was stopped by police while singing the National Anthem in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol because it was deemed a “prohibited form of protest.”
The children’s choir had received prior approval to sing a short set of patriotic songs, including the National Anthem, inside the historic Statuary Hall.
However, the choir was stopped by Capitol Police while singing The Star-Spangled Banner.
The abrupt interruption stunned the young performers and the choir director.
The Capitol Police refused to allow the children to finish the song because singing the national anthem at the nation’s Capitol is considered a form of protest, The Gateway Pundit reported.
South Carolina’s representatives, Russell Fry, Joe Wilson, and William Timmons, were involved in granting the choir approval to enter the Capitol and had given support to the performance.
Congressman Joe Wilson expressed outrage after learning of the incident.
Despite engaging with staff to resolve the matter, no solution could be reached,
“We’ve been stopped in the middle of the Star Spangled Banner while here in the Capitol even though we were approved for this concert,” said Christina Chapman Heffernan.
“Certain Capitol police said it might offend someone/cause issues. We respect authority, but we should have been allowed to sing because of the multi-level approval we already got from 3 representatives involved: Russell Fry, Joe Wilson, and William Timmons,” she added.
“The visit and Choir performance was all planned and approved… but it’s possible that there was some type of “permit” or communication mixup,” said Matthew Leys.
“Either way… the kids sang brilliantly; Capitol Police not even letting them complete the song and trying to explain that singing the Anthem could be considered a form of protest is telling and embarrassing; when you need a permit to sing your National Anthem in your nation’s Capitol, something’s gone wrong,” he added.
The shocking incident raises concerns as to why a permit to sing the National Anthem is needed, which is a symbol of national pride, in the halls that are supposed to represent American democracy.
One concerned citizen commented, “You are U.S. citizens in a public place exercising the right of free speech. Stopping the kids from signing the national anthem is no different than stopping you from waving the U.S. Flag. You were clearly denied constitutional rights—an issue you can sue in civil court over.”
The incident is now under investigation, and efforts are being made to gather further information surrounding the interruption.
“We’re working on gathering info for now. We’d gotten permission from some SC congressmen and had also gotten it cleared by the Speaker of the House’s office. Once we have more info, we’ll know better how to proceed,” said Debbie Baughman Davis.
SC State House Representative Adam Morgan released the following statement after the incident:
“The fact that our National Anthem could ever be considered “offensive” in our nation’s Capital is a stinging reminder of the challenges we face as a Republic….”