The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with "God Bless America," as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.
But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.
"The NHL principle 'Hockey is for Everyone' is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for," said Flyers President Paul Holmgren. "As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today."
While Kate Smith's performance of "God Bless America" cannot be erased from its place in Flyers history, that rendition will no longer be featured in our game presentations. And to ensure the sentiments stirred this week are no longer echoed, earlier today we completed the removal of the Kate Smith statue from its former location outside of our arena.