Crafting a Legacy
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
In 1813, Mary Pickersgill’s flag-making business was commissioned to sew a garrison flag and a smaller storm flag for Fort McHenry, Mary’s mother, daughter, nieces, and African American servants helped complete the task in about seven weeks.
On September 14, 1814, Fort McHenry withstood a 25-hour British bombardment. The garrison flag waving over the victorious fort inspired Francis Scot Key to pen lyrics that became the U.S. national anthem.
The family of George Armistead, commander at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, held the garrison flag until 1912. A grandson donated it to the Smithsonian Institution, where it is displayed today.
“Through the clouds of war, the stars of that banner still shone…and in that hour of …joy triumph, my heart spoke…’Does not such a country…deserve a song’ was its question.”
Francis Scot Key, August 6, 1834.
Too large for Mary’s house, the 30 x 42-foot garrison flag was finished on the floor of a nearby brewery. Her helpers included an African American indentured servant
Receipt for two flags received on August 19, 1813. Image/Courtesy Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War of 1812. In addition, it is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1849.
Location. 39° 17.232′ N, 76° 36.216′ W. Marker is in Jonestown in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on East Pratt Street. The marker is located on the lawn of the Star-Spangled Banner House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 815 E Pratt St, Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Baltimore Slave Trade (here, next to this marker); The Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); The Star Spangled Banner (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome To The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House (within shouting distance of this marker); Flag House (within shouting distance of this marker); Discover Historic Jonestown: An Epic Story of Change (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome (about 300 feet
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 881 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 22, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.