Behind the lyrics of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'
The Star-Spangled Banner, national anthem of the United States, with music adapted from the anthem of a singing club and words by Francis Scott Key. After a century of general use, the four-stanza song was officially adopted as the national anthem by an act of Congress in Mar 01, · Maj. George Armistead commissioned Mary Pickersgill, a Baltimore flagmaker, to make a star, stripe garrison flag in that would later be celebrated as "The Star-Spangled Banner Author: Cate Lineberry.
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Old Glory has been through the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more. About The Author. Related Posts. Leave a reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
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Oct 14, · The Star-Spangled Banner has a complicated story. As embodied by both the national anthem and the actual flag that inspired the anthem's writer, Francis Scott Key, it covers a wide range of American solarigniters.com: Sarah Crocker. Like so many famous songs of yore, "The Star-Spangled Banner" started as a poem, called “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” It was written by Francis Scott Key in during the War of The. 1 day ago · The Most Epic Star-Spangled Banner Old Glory has been through the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more. Image Credits: infowars. By Kelen McBreen | solarigniters.com Friday, April 23, Patriotism is on a downward spiral as citizens across the nation are taught to hate their heritage and history.
Armistead commissioned Mary Pickersgill, a Baltimore flag maker, to sew two flags for the fort: a smaller storm flag 17 by 25 ft and a larger garrison flag 30 by 42 ft. She was hired under a government contract and was assisted by her daughter, two nieces, and an indentured African-American girl.
Each star is about two feet in diameter, each stripe about 24 inches wide. It was intended to fly from a flagpole about ninety feet high and be visible from great distances. At its original dimensions of 30 by 42 feet, it was larger than the modern garrison flags used today by the United States Army, which have a standard size of 20 by 38 feet. The first Flag Act, adopted on June 14, , created the original United States flag of thirteen stars and thirteen stripes.
The Star-Spangled Banner has fifteen stars and fifteen stripes as provided for in the second Flag Act approved by Congress on January 13, The additional stars and stripes represent Vermont and Kentucky joining the Union. The third Flag Act, passed on April 4, , reduced the number of stripes back to thirteen to honor the original thirteen colonies and provided for one star for each state — a new star to be added to the flag on the Fourth of July following the admission of each new state.
Pickersgill spent between six and eight weeks making the flags, and they were delivered to Fort McHenry on August 19, The whereabouts of the storm flag are not known. Although its events inspired one of our most famous national songs, the War of is itself a relatively little-known war in American history.
Despite its complicated causes and inconclusive outcome, the conflict helped establish the credibility of the young United States among other nations. It also fostered a strong sense of national pride among the American people, and those patriotic feelings are reflected and preserved in the song we know today as our national anthem. In the early stages of the war, the American navy scored victories in the Atlantic and on Lake Erie while Britain concentrated its military efforts on its ongoing war with France.
Admiral Alexander Cochrane, the British naval commander, prepared to attack U. On August 24, at Bladensburg, Maryland, about 30 miles from Washington, his five-thousand-member British force defeated an American army twice its size. That same night, British troops entered Washington. The local militia fled, and President James Madison and wife Dolley barely escaped. Moving up the Chesapeake Bay to the mouth of the Patapsco River, they plotted a joint attack on Baltimore by land and water.
They soon encountered the American forward line, part of an extensive network of defenses established around Baltimore in anticipation of the British assault. During the skirmish with American troops, General Ross, so successful in the attack on Washington, was killed by a sharpshooter.
Surprised by the strength of the American defenses, British forces camped on the battlefield and waited for nightfall on September 13, planning to attempt another attack under cover of darkness.
Rockets whistled through the air and burst into flame wherever they struck. Mortars fired and inch bombshells that exploded overhead in showers of fiery shrapnel. When British ships advanced on the afternoon of the 13th, however, American gunners badly damaged them, forcing them to pull back out of range.
That night British attempts at a diversionary attack also failed, and by dawn they had given up hope of taking the city. At on the morning of September 14, Admiral Cochrane called an end to the bombardment, and the British fleet withdrew. The successful defense of Baltimore marked a turning point in the War of Three months later, on December 24, , the Treaty of Ghent formally ended the war. Because the British attack had coincided with a heavy rainstorm, Fort McHenry had flown its smaller storm flag throughout the battle.
But at dawn, as the British began to retreat, Major Armistead ordered his men to lower the storm flag and replace it with the great garrison flag. Waving proudly over the fort, the banner could be seen for miles around—as far away as a ship anchored eight miles down the river, where an American lawyer named Francis Scott Key had spent an anxious night watching and hoping for a sign that the city—and the nation—might be saved.
Before departing from a ravaged Washington, British soldiers had arrested Dr. They subsequently imprisoned him on a British warship. Friends of Dr. Skinner, the U. They were successful; however, the British feared that Key and Skinner would divulge their plans for attacking Baltimore, and so they detained the two men aboard a truce ship for the duration of the battle. Key thus became an eyewitness to the bombardment of Fort McHenry. Moved by the sight, he began to compose a poem on the back of a letter he was carrying.
On September 16, Key and his companions were taken back to Baltimore and released. Nicholson responded enthusiastically and urged Key to have the poem printed. Copies of the song were distributed to every man at the fort and around Baltimore.
The first documented public performance of the words and music together took place at the Holliday Street Theatre in Baltimore on October 19, It gained special significance during the Civil War, a time when many Americans turned to music to express their feelings for the flag and the ideals and values it represented. By the s, the military had adopted the song for ceremonial purposes, requiring it to be played at the raising and lowering of the colors.
As its owner, she permitted the flag to be publicly exhibited on several occasions. In , Appleton lent the historic flag to the Smithsonian Institution, and in he offered the flag as a permanent gift to the nation.
In the late s, souvenirs, or relics, of important events and people in American history became highly prized and collectible objects. The Star-Spangled Banner, historic and celebrated, was subjected to this practice. The Armistead family received frequent requests for pieces of their flag, but reserved the treasured fragments for veterans, government officials, and other honored citizens. By giving away snippings, the Armisteads could share the Star-Spangled Banner with others who loved the flag.
The citizens who received these mementos treated them with reverence and pride. Some framed and displayed these pieces of history in their homes; others donated them to museums. Since conservators and curators cannot be sure from which part of the flag these fragments were taken, the pieces cannot be integrated back into the flag.
By the time it arrived at the Smithsonian in , the Star-Spangled Banner was already in a fragile and tattered condition. Working with a team of ten needlewomen, Fowler first removed a canvas backing that had been attached to the flag in , when it was displayed and photographed for the first time at the Boston Navy Yard by Admiral George Preble.
The women then attached the flag to a new linen backing, sewing approximately 1. In the flag was moved to the new National Museum of History and Technology now the National Museum of American History , where it was displayed in the central hall on the second floor.
During the time that the Star-Spangled Banner was displayed in Flag Hall, museum staff recognized that inconsistent temperatures and humidity and high light levels had adversely affected the flag. In , the Smithsonian began a two-year preservation effort: staff vacuumed the flag to reduce accumulated dust, installed new lighting and air-handling systems, and mounted a screen in front of the flag to protect it from light and damaging airborne matter.
By , museum officials recognized the need for further conservation, and in they began developing a plan to preserve the Star-Spangled Banner using modern, scientific conservation techniques. At this time, the flag was taken down from the wall where it had hung since ; in , it was moved to the climate- and light-controlled conservation lab where it remains today.
They measured stains, holes, and mends, and removed those mends that stressed the fibers. The next step was to remove harmful materials from the flag. In the final phase, to prepare the Star-Spangled Banner for reinstallation in a permanent exhibition gallery, conservators attached a lightweight polyester fabric called Stabiltex to one side.
This provides enough support to hold the flag together and allow it to be displayed. Conservators and curators collaborated with architects and engineers to develop a long-term preservation plan for the Star-Spangled Banner. This included constructing a state-of-the-art flag chamber with a climate-controlled environment and low light levels, and displaying the flag at a shallow angle.
All of these features will help preserve the flag for future generations. The state-of-the-art gallery opened November 21, Star-Spangled Banner Flickr page. Scott S. Abrams, Inc. The War of and the Burning of Washington Although its events inspired one of our most famous national songs, the War of is itself a relatively little-known war in American history.
A New Home Conservators and curators collaborated with architects and engineers to develop a long-term preservation plan for the Star-Spangled Banner. Flag Facts. Back to Top.