Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today Is Flag Day-- Part 3: That "Star-Spangled Banner"

The flag made by Betsy Ross depicted 13 red and white horizontal stripes in alternating colors, and a blue field with 13 stars arranged in a circle.  Other flags were created at the time with stars in a staggered pattern other than her circle.

The original 13 star flag remained the official flag of the United States until the addition of two more states, Vermont and Kentucky.  A fifteen star flag made its appearance in 1785, but this flag not only had 15 stars, but also the addition of two more stripes.  This new flag was the one that flew at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet was aboard a British ship (where he had gone to negotiate the release of a friend) when the fort was bombarded.  This was the inspiration to pen the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner."

It started as a poem, but music was added and it has been the National Anthem ever since, though not officially for many years.   Currently the Fort McHenry flag is at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.


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