Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum
In the summer of 1813, Commander Joshua Barney, General John Stricker and Major James Calhoun visited her shop and asked Mary to make a garrison flag for Fort McHenry. The flag was thirty feet hoist and forty-two feet fly, with fifteen stripes and fifteen stars. Each stripe was two feet wide and each star two feet from tip to tip. Mary was asked to complete the flag in just six weeks. assisted by her daughter, her three nieces and two African American-servants both free and slave. Mary cut pieced, and sewed the large flag. Her daughter Caroline later recalled that “my mother worked many nights until 12 o'clock to complete it in the given time.”
The flag flew over Fort McHenry for a year before the British bombardment on September 13 and 14, 1814. The sight of the large garrison flag flying over Fort McHenry after the 25 hour bombardment inspired Francis Scott Key to write
The flag Mary Pickersgill made is on display at the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History in Washington, D. C.
Erected by the City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Heritage Area and Martin O'Malley, mayor.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers, and the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 39° 17.242′ N, 76° 36.191′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on Pratt Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 844 E Pratt Street, Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Star Spangled Banner (here, next to this marker); Discover Historic Jonestown: An Epic Story of Change (a few steps from this marker); Flag House (a few steps from this marker); Crafting a Legacy (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore Slave Trade (within shouting distance of this marker); The Star Spangled Banner Flag was Born Here (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brewer’s Park (about 500 feet away); Home of Edward Johnson (about 500 Baltimore Riot Trail (about 500 feet away); Small Brick Building (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
More about this marker. Marker reproduces R. McGill Mackall (1889–1982)’s 1962 oil on canvas entitled “Placing the Stars on the Flag That Inspired Francis Scott Key to Write Our National Anthem” and adds this caption: “Mary Pickersgill and her mother, Rebecca Young, who also made flags during the American Revolution, finish the Ft. McHenry garrison Flag as Mary’s daughter, Caroline, and three officers look on.” It credits the oil to the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association.
Categories. • Forts or Castles • Industry & Commerce • War of 1812 • Women •
More. Search the internet for The Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,387 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on September 25, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2. submitted on September 27, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 25, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 6. submitted on August 10, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.