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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Star-Spangled Banner

 
 
Star-Spangled Banner Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
1. Star-Spangled Banner Marker
Inscription. By order of the President, the flag of the United States of America flies day and night here at the place where Francis Scott Key saw it when he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Without words, the unfurled flag answers Key’s immortal question, “O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

The Star-Spangled Banner that Key saw here after the British bombardment is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Mary Pickersgill, a Baltimore seamstress, made the huge wool flag in 1813. It measured 30 x 42 feet. Note that the flag bore 15 stripes—not 13—during the 1795-1818 period.

United States Flag Star-Spangled Banner 1795-1818, 15 stars, 30 x 42 feet. Park rangers fly a full-size nylon replica of the famous flag when weather permits. The large flag will not unfurl in winds of less than 5 mph, winds of 12 mph or more put dangerous stresses on the flagstaff. At least 3 to 5 persons are required to raise and lower the large flag.

United States Flag Star-Spangled Banner 1795-1818, 15 stars, 17 x 25 feet. In addition to the large flag, the 1814 garrison kept a smaller flag (17 x 25 feet) for stormy weather. Today park rangers keep flags of several sizes on hand, changing them as weather conditions
Star-Spangled Banner Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 16, 2010
2. Star-Spangled Banner Marker
change.

United States Flag 1960-Present. On July 4, 1960, the United States fifty-star flag was officially flown for the first time anywhere from the flagstaff here. Today’s replica flagstaff was handmade in 1988 from Oregon Douglas-fir. It stands on the same spot as the 1814 original and is similar in design.

The sight of the great flag flying over Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814, inspired Francis Scott Key to write this poem. Later it was set to music and became our National Anthem.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Fort McHenry marker series.
 
Location. 39° 15.804′ N, 76° 34.783′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from Fort Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is inside the Fort. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21230, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Full Glory Reflected (here, next to this marker); Civil War Guardhouse (a few steps from this marker); Mortars vs. Guns (a few steps from this marker); Bombproofs (a few steps from this marker); Fort McHenry (a few steps from this marker); A Star Spangled Centennial
Star-Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
3. Star-Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry
This appears to be the 17 x 25 ft. flag with 15 stripes and 15 stars.
(a few steps from this marker); 1814 Enlisted Men's Barracks, No 2 (a few steps from this marker); Commanding Officer’s Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ravelin (within shouting distance of this marker); Powder Magazine (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Also see . . .  American History Fun Facts - Star Spangled Banner Flag. The Star Spangled Banner flag has 15 stripes and 15 stars, and it was this flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the beautiful words to Star Spangled Banner. The two additional stars and stripes represent the entrance of Vermont and Kentucky into the Union. (Submitted on December 21, 2010, by Julia Hutchins of Scott City, Kansas.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesLandmarksMilitaryNotable PersonsPatriots & PatriotismWar of 1812
 
Plaque at base of flagstaff image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
4. Plaque at base of flagstaff
Plaque reads, “During the bombardment of September 13–14, 1814, the flag which inspired Francis Scott Key to write ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ flew from a flagstaff at this location. This replica of the original flagstaff donated by: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Maryland; Joseph O. Hansen; Terminal Corporation; CSX Transportation; Baltimore Gas and Electric; Burlington Northern Railroad; Maryland Port Authority; Tidewater Equipment Inc.; International Union of Operating Engineers, Local No. 37; Budeke’s Paints; AFL-CIO Iron Workers, Local No. 16; and The Patriots of Fort McHenry. 1989.”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 18, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,533 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 18, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on August 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on September 18, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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