�By Andy Hughes
THE STATE of flux concerning the Russian National Anthem has raised interesting questions about the concept of national anthems in general, and the future of the anthem of Russia in particular.
As the world's press has pointed out, President Vladimir Putin has firmly squashed the lingering influence of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin by ditching the state emblem, Patriotic Song, and replacing it with the apparently rather more rousing Unbreakable Union, which dates back to the days of Josef Stalin.
Russia, is busy dividing itself into two distinct sides of opinion - those who see the resurrection of the Stalinist tune as a backward step, and those who applaud the vision of President Putin, and will no doubt sing his praises, as soon as they have some words with which to do so. A slightly more pressing issue, aside from the perceived divide between 'old' and 'new' Russia, is the knotty question of the lyrics, specifically, the newly dusted-off anthem doesn't have any.
The wider view examines the whole concept of national anthems. Do we still need them in the new century Did we ever need them at all For strongly patriotic countries like Russia, where the anthem is played daily at 6.30 am and again at midnight on national media, this is a debate that could split the nation. For somewhat more liberal nationalities, the whole idea may seem outdated. How long is it since British cinemas ended their evening's entertainment with a few bars of God Save The Queen
Are National Anthems out-dated and faintly fascist in their ideology, or do they hark back to a golden era when summers were always sunny, and young people knew how to treat their elders and betters. The debate is running. Click here to join The AnswerBank discussion.
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