CHICAGO – “The Star-Spangled Banner” may yet wave over Goshen College in Indiana, but no one’s going to be singing about it.

The Mennonite campus is dropping the national anthem in favor of “America the Beautiful” before all sporting events, saying the latter song better represents its religious values and pacifist tradition.

The rockets’ red glare and those bombs bursting in air — lyrics honoring an obscure naval battle during the War of 1812 — proved too violent for a college whose motto is “Healing the World, Peace by Peace.”

The school had never played “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games until last year, when it began using an instrumental version. Administrators opted to end the practice in June, however, after some students and alumni expressed concerns about the militaristic imagery and the impact the anthem could have on foreign students, a school spokesman said.

“What kind of message did it send to them about hospitality?” Goshen spokesman Richard R. Aguirre told the Chicago Tribune last month. “We thought it was inconsistent to the entire message we were trying to send.”

A Rust Belt college with roughly 1,000 students, Goshen often appears on lists of the Midwest’s top liberal arts colleges. Its mission, both academically and socially, reflects the school’s ties to the Mennonite Church USA, a Protestant faith built upon pacifism and global citizenship.

The national anthem debate has engulfed the Northern Indiana campus for nearly two years, prompting college President James E. Brenneman to seek resolution over the summer. He considered playing patriotic alternatives such as “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land” at games before settling on “America the Beautiful,” the late 19th-century poem written by Katharine Lee Bates.

A U.S. flag will be present when it is played or sung before each game, Brenneman said.

Brenneman’s decision has support on campus, where about 58 percent of undergraduates are Mennonite. Senior Kessa Frantz of Chicago said she believes “America the Beautiful” represents a fair compromise for students who want to honor their country while remaining faithful to their Anabaptist beliefs.

“I think a lot of Mennonites at the school appreciate America but also don’t want to have that violence,” she said. “That’s a great” middle ground.

Goshen basketball player Octavio Parral, a junior from Texas, said he prefers it still be played, but he understands the college wants to uphold its religious values. “It’d be nice to be played. … But if they don’t want to play it, that’s their deal. I’m just getting an education,” he said.

The public, however, may be less understanding about the school’s decision.

On Wednesday, Rosemary Reder of the American Flag Society, a group dedicated to teaching flag etiquette and protocol, accused the college of disrespecting the country. She called upon spectators at Goshen’s next games to loudly sing the national anthem on their own.

“That’s a disgrace,” she said. “People … have died for the flag. These people are just shameful.”