Patriotism is good. Patriotism mandated by law is not real patriotism.

Politicians in the Philippines are working to pass a law that would make it a criminal act not to sing the national anthem with appropriate enthusiasm.

The Philippine House of Representatives has approved a bill making enthusiastic singing of the national anthem compulsory.

“The singing shall be mandatory and must be done with fervour,” the bill states. The word “mandatory” is not in the existing legislation.

It also provides official music for the tune, which must be adhered to.

Punishment for breaking the rules could include a fine of 50,000-100,000 pesos (£780-£1,560; $2,800-$5,590).

That fine is substantially more than the current minimum and maximum of 5,000-20,000 pesos (£78-£312).

Offenders will also be issued a warning before being publicly “named and shamed” in a national newspaper.

This all seems very North Korea-ish to me. The law even dictates the range of tempos at which the anthem can legally be performed.

Commenting on an earlier version of the bill in April, one of its authors, Maximo Rodriguez Jr, said disrespecting the national anthem often happens in cinemas, where customers do not stand for the anthem.

Maybe playing the national anthem at the movies is a bit much to begin with. It’s sad to see the Philippines lurching toward fascism.

Here in the United States how the national anthem is performed generates a lot of discussion and criticism at times. Colin Kaepernick  publicly refused to stand and he had to deal with the consequences without there having to be a law. I would love it if I never had to hear some botched version of the Star Spangled Banner by a flash in the pan vocalist who thinks he’s being paid by the note. I’d hate it if it were illegal to perform it badly.

What do you think would’ve happened to Carl Lewis under legislation like this?