Singer and songwriter Brad Skistimas, who appears under the stage name Five Times August, performed the United States’ national anthem for the children’s cartoon series Star Spangled Adventures.
Skistimas, who wrote and sings the show’s theme song, shared a clip from an upcoming episode of Star Spangled Adventures detailing poet Francis Scott Key’s experience observing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812, which inspired him to write the “Star Spangled Banner.”
In the cartoon, Key notes “our flag is still there” as he looks upon Fort McHenry, saying, “As long as our star spangled banner is there, we are winning.”
Five Times August’s rendition of “Star Spangled Banner” begins playing as Key watches cannons being fired at the fort.
As dawn approaches, Keys is shown writing his poem “Defense Defence of Fort M’Henry,” which would later be published and become the national anthem.
“The American flag was still there, along with America’s freedom still protected,” says the narrator as Key and others cheer.
Star Spangled Adventures, released through children’s Little Patriots Learning, is a free cartoon series that aims to teach kids about our country’s history and values.
Skistimas rose to notoriety after releasing a series of folk songs throughout the COVID-19. The songs, while not explicitly addressing politics or the pandemic, featured social commentary on the United States and culture.
“Sad Little Man,” released by Five Times August in late 2021, features imagery of a traveling vendor selling a product designed to harm his customers. While the song does not directly mention former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Anthony Fauci, the music video features images of the former NIAID director as the traveling salesman as Skistimas says “fear is the drug that the doc prescribes.”
Shortly after its release, the song was removed from YouTube due to “medical misinformation.”
“The video is ineligible for full monetization due to the content (which includes metadata) containing Medical Misinformation. Medical Misinfo is a policy that’s part of Dangerous and Harmful acts,” wrote YouTube of the song’s removal.
Skistimas said he received comments from listeners who had difficulty locating the song on YouTube.
“It wasn’t until I called YouTube out publicly on Twitter did the original upload magically appear back in search results but Google/YouTube never explained or gave reason to any of this and who knows how many views and potential subscribers I lost due to this,” he told the Federalist at the time. “The first several days the video was accepted with full monetization, then after a manual review they marked it for limited ads due to ‘medical misinformation’ – which if you watch the video – can see there’s no way to clearly define what that misinformation is.”
Five Times August’s songs released throughout the COVID-19 pandemic were compiled and released as an album in 2022 titled Silent War.