(Ya know, what really ticks me off is typing up a message, hitting submit, and having AOL disconnect me. Geez!)
Don't carry it around: Apology accepted, for my part. In fact, I can see how, read one way, the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" could be heard as sounding arrogant indeed. If you'll cruise back over some of the posts, you'll find a lot of people, even here, don't think it's the best choice for a national anthem. (Me, I don't like the range it calls for, as there ivariably seems to be a thinning of the voices in any crowd when they're asked to hit those high notes on the line you dislike. And, of course, it always seems to be played in a key that calls for a mezzo-soprano to reach those notes. I tend to think of the lyrics as the expression of an ideal, something we struggle to attain, so they don't bother me.)
But I would ask you, please, to start to read your papers with a more cynical eye: they're written by people with their own agendas, papers are -- and God alone knows what some of those agendas are, beyond promoting "good copy." They do seem to love to sterotype us all. If I were to rely on the papers and news media for all my information about other areas of the world, I'd assume that Jeri lives in an industrial hellhole that stretches from the seacoast of Maine to Chicago; that Alex, being from the Northwest, keeps a chainsaw in the shed to cut down ancient redwoods in his spare time and dines on spotted owl. As I am in Texas, we can conclude that I can't read, let alone write, and am obviously having this typed by some visiting New Yorker who has taken pity on me. And you, a Scot, must steal cattle for a living, keep sheep and are dour and penny-pinching -- and you have one two-lane road running the length of Scotland. None of which is true. (Well, Alex might...no, no, surely not!)
Anyway, we all fire off something now and again that raises hackles and gets someone's ire up. You've taken it well: Come home; all is forgiven.
P.S. Greg, were we quarreling? Of course "truce," you imperialist swine!