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King’s College Defends Use of the National Anthem in Graduation Ceremonies

King’s College Defends Use of the National Anthem in Graduation Ceremonies

Some students have called for King’s College London to stop playing the national anthem at graduation ceremonies.

King’s College London decided on Monday to keep the national anthem in their graduation ceremony after the union’s vice-president of welfare and community, Mahamed Abdullahi, called for its removal.

Unlike UCL, which does not play the national anthem at its graduation ceremonies, it has been a fixture throughout King’s College’s history.

Mr Abdullahi stated in a post on Facebook that the national anthem was not reflective of the college’s “global” values.

The social media post, riddled with fowl language, said the national anthem has links with “far right nationalism” and colonialism.

The proposal caused significant backlash among the student body. James Findon, a member of the university’s Conservative Association, started a petition on Sunday to keep the national anthem, stating that it is an “important tradition” at graduation ceremonies.

King’s College London was founded in 1829 by the Duke of Wellington and King George IV, who gave it his own name to indicate his patronage of the University.

Mr Findon told the Daily Telegraph that the controversy over the National Anthem has distracted students from the “real issues affecting BME (black and minority ethnic students) at King’s”, such as the rise in “hate crime since the referendum”.

Though the college administration did say it was “in discussion” with Mr Abdullahi, it announced on Monday that it would continue to play the national anthem at the graduation ceremonies.

UCL has had their own controversy over graduation ceremonies. In January students succeeded in changing the university policy about graduation tickets. Tickets are now free whereas previously students had to pay £35 for their own ticket.

Lucy Bacon
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