The Star Spangled Banner

catkinZ8a



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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Tear-jerker, but a couple minor "facts" should be corrected.

Key didn't go to the British ship to free all the colonial prisoners, but to free his good friend Dr. Beanes. The flag he saw the next morning was not the flag that got bombed to shreds during the night. The night-time flag was a smaller "storm flag" (rainy night). The flag he saw the next morning was a larger flag--unshredded by bombing--that was raised at dawn.

Doesn't affect the emotional impact of the song, however.

Is this supposed to be a hot topic?

Kate

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Look what I just found. Most of the above video is bogus! A tear-jerker, to be sure--but "fake news."

---------------------------------------------------------------------

"This fiction was repeated during testimony meeting this morning. Oops. Erroneous

. . . A historian pointed to just a few of the numerous errors in this fictional account of the Star Spangled Banner.

1. It was the War of 1812, not the Revolutionary War — there were 15 states, not 13 colonies.
2. There was no ultimatum to Baltimore, nor to the U.S., as this fellow describes it.
3. Key negotiated for the release of one man, Dr. Beanes. There was no brig full of U.S. prisoners.
4. It’s Fort McHenry, not “Henry.” The fort was named after James McHenry, a physician who was one of the foreign-born signers of the Constitution, who had assisted Generals Washington and Lafayette during the American Revolution, and who had served as Secretary of War to Presidents Washington and Adams.
5. Fort McHenry was a military institution, a fort defending Baltimore Harbor. It was not a refuge for women and children.
6. The nation would not have reverted to British rule had Fort McHenry fallen.
7. There were 50 ships, not hundreds. Most of them were rafts with guns on them. Baltimore Harbor is an arm of Chesapeake Bay; Fort McHenry is not on the ocean.
8. The battle started in daylight.
9. Bogus quote: George Washington never said “What sets the American Christian apart from all other people in this world is he will die on his feet before he will live on his knees.” Tough words. Spanish Civil War. Not George Washington. I particularly hate it when people make up stuff to put in the mouths of great men. Washington left his diaries and considerably more — we don’t have to make up inspiring stuff, and when we do, we get it wrong.
10. The battle was not over the flag; the British were trying to take Baltimore, one of America’s great ports. At this point, they rather needed to since the Baltimore militia had stunned and stopped the ground troops east of the city. There’s enough American bravery and pluck in this part of the story to merit no exaggerations.
11. To the best of our knowledge, the British did not specifically target the flag.
12. There were about 28 American casualties. Bodies of the dead were not used to hold up the flag pole — a 42 by 30 foot flag has to be on a well-anchored pole, not held up by a few dead bodies stacked around it.
"


https://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=16088539

-----------------------------------------------

Sorry--not true. I just didn't realize how many errors it contained until I read this list.


Kate

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ubro(2a)

I love real history, thanks Kate. It always annoys me when movies and Disney get history wrong just to puff up some idea they are pushing.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

It’s the image posted from the video that set off warning tingles.

Tricorn hats were used in the Revolutionary War era. The Star Spangled Banner is associated with the war of 1812 as Kate already pointed out; the tricorn was already out of style by 1800.

I expected the rest of the video to be just as accurate as the regalia shown so I didn’t even look at it. Nice to see I was right.

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catkinZ8a

Thanks for clarification!

The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner

How the flag that flew proudly over Fort McHenry inspired an anthem and made its way to the Smithsonian

By Cate Lineberry

SMITHSONIANMAG.COM
MARCH 1, 2007

On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President's house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.

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A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key's tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

"It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone," Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of "the dawn's early light" on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key's work and had it distributed under the name "Defence of Fort M'Henry." The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key's poem, now called "The Star-Spangled Banner," appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated.

Nearly two centuries later, the flag that inspired Key still survives, though fragile and worn by the years. To preserve this American icon, experts at the National Museum of American History recently completed an eight-year conservation treatment with funds from Polo Ralph Lauren, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Congress. And when the museum reopens in summer 2008, the Star-Spangled Banner will be its centerpiece, displayed in its own state-of-the-art gallery.

"The Star-Spangled Banner is a symbol of American history that ranks with the Statue of Liberty and the Charters of Freedom," says Brent D. Glass, the museum's director. "The fact that it has been entrusted to the National Museum of American History is an honor."

Started in 1996, the Star-Spangled Banner preservation project—which includes the flag's conservation and the creation of its new display in the renovated museum—was planned with the help of historians, conservators, curators, engineers and organic scientists. With the construction of the conservation lab completed in 1999, conservators began their work. Over the next several years, they clipped 1.7 million stitches from the flag to remove a linen backing that had been added in 1914, lifted debris from the flag using dry cosmetic sponges and brushed it with an acetone-water mixture to remove soils embedded in fibers. Finally, they added a sheer polyester backing to help support the flag.

"Our goal was to extend [the flag's] usable lifetime," says Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss, the conservator for the project. The intent was never to make the flag look as it did when it first flew over Fort McHenry, she says. "We didn't want to change any of the history written on the artifact by stains and soil. Those marks tell the flag's story."

While the conservators worked, the public looked on. Over the years, more than 12 million people peered into the museum's glass conservation lab, watching the progress.

"The Star-Spangled Banner resonates with people in different ways, for different reasons," says Kathleen Kendrick, curator for the Star-Spangled Banner preservation project. "It's exciting to realize that you're looking at the very same flag that Francis Scott Key saw on that September morning in 1814. But the Star-Spangled Banner is more than an artifact—it's also a national symbol. It evokes powerful emotions and ideas about what it means to be an American."

The Flag's Beginnings

The Star-Spangled Banner's history starts not with Francis Scott Key, but a year earlier with Maj. George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry. Knowing that his fort was a likely British target, Armistead told the commander of Baltimore defenses in July 1813 that he needed a flag—a big one. "We, sir, are ready at Fort McHenry to defend Baltimore against invading by the enemy…except that we have no suitable ensign to display over the Star Fort, and it is my desire to have a flag so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance."

Armistead soon hired a 29-year-old widow and professional flagmaker, Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore, Maryland, to make a garrison flag measuring 30 by 42 feet with 15 stars and 15 stripes (each star and stripe representing a state). A large flag, but one not unusual for the time. Over the next six weeks, Mary, her daughter, three of Mary's nieces, a 13-year-old indentured servant and possibly Mary's mother Rebecca Young worked 10-hour days sewing the flag, using 300 yards of English wool bunting. They made the stars, each measuring two feet in diameter, from cotton—a luxury item at the time. Initially they worked from Mary's home (now a private museum known as the Flag House), but as their work progressed they needed more room and had to move to Claggett's brewery across the street. On August 19, 1813, the flag was delivered to Fort McHenry.

For making the Star-Spangled Banner, Mary was paid $405.90. She received another $168.54 for sewing a smaller (17 by 25 feet) storm flag, likely using the same design. It was this storm flag—not the garrison flag now known as the Star-Spangled Banner—which actually flew during the battle. The garrison flag, according to eyewitness accounts, wasn't raised until the morning.

After the Battle of Baltimore

Armistead remained in command of Fort McHenry for the rest of his life. Historians are not sure how the Armistead family came into possession of the flag, but upon Armistead's death in 1818, his wife Louisa inherited it. It is she who is thought to have sewed the red upside-down "V" on the flag, beginning the stitches for the letter "A." She is also thought to have begun the tradition of giving pieces of the flag away to honor her husband's memory, as well as the memories of the soldiers who defended the fort under his command.

When Louisa died in 1861, she passed the flag down to their daughter Georgiana Armistead Appleton over the legal objections of their son. "Georgiana was the only child born at the fort, and she was named for her father," says Thomassen-Krauss. "Louisa wanted Georgiana to have it."

The Missing Pieces

In 1873, Georgiana loaned the flag to George Preble, a flag historian who until that time had thought the flag was lost. That same year, Preble had the first known photograph of it taken at the Boston Navy Yard and exhibited it at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, where he stored it until 1876.

While the Star-Spangled Banner was in Preble's care, Georgiana allowed him to give away pieces of the flag as he saw fit. Georgiana, herself, had given away cuttings of the flag to other Armistead descendants, as well as family friends. She once noted, "[H]ad we given all that we have been importuned for little would be left to show." This family tradition continued through 1880 with Armistead's grandson giving away the last documented piece, says Thomassen-Krauss.

Several of these cuttings from the Star-Spangled Banner have been located over the years, including about a dozen that are owned by the American History Museum. "We're aware of at least a dozen more that exist in other museums and private collections," says Kendrick.

But a missing 15th star has never been found. "There's a legend that the star was buried with one of the soldiers from Fort McHenry; another says that it was given to Abraham Lincoln," says Kendrick. "But no real evidence has surfaced to support these stories, and the true fate of the star remains one of the Smithsonian's great unsolved mysteries."

100 Years at the Smithsonian

After Georgiana's death, the flag passed to Eben Appleton, Armistead's grandson, who loaned it to the city of Baltimore for the 1880 sesquicentennial celebration. It then remained in a safe-deposit vault in New York City until Appleton loaned it to the Smithsonian in 1907. Five years later, he made the gift permanent, saying he wanted it to belong "to the Institution in the country where it could be conveniently seen by the public and where it would be well cared for."

When the flag arrived at the Smithsonian it was smaller (30 by 34 feet), damaged from years of use at the fort and from pieces being removed as souvenirs. Recognizing its need for repair, the Smithsonian hired Amelia Fowler, an embroidery teacher and well-known flag preserver, in 1914 to replace the canvas backing that had been added in 1873. Having worked on historic flags for the United States Naval Academy, Fowler had patented a method of supporting fragile flags with a linen backing that required a honeycomb pattern of stitches. With the help of ten needlewomen, Fowler spent eight weeks on the flag, receiving $1,243 for the materials and work.

For the next 50 years, with the exception of a brief move during World War II, the Star-Spangled Banner was displayed in what is now the Arts and Industries Building. Because of the flag's size and the dimensions of the glass case it was displayed in, the public never saw the entire flag while it was housed in this location.

That changed after architects designed the new National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, with space to allow the flag to hang. The Star-Spangled Banner remained in Flag Hall from 1964 until 1999, when it was moved to the conservation lab.

With the recent completion of the project, the Star-Spangled Banner will remain an icon of American history that can still be seen by the public. Says Glass, "The survival of this flag for nearly 200 years is a visible testimony to the strength and perseverance of this nation, and we hope that it will inspire many more generations to come."


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-story-behind-the-star-spangled-banner-149220970/




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catkinZ8a


1814September 14

Francis Scott Key pens “The Star-Spangled Banner”


On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the “Star-Spangled Banner”: “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, at Terra Rubra, his family’s estate in Frederick County (now Carroll County), Maryland. He became a successful lawyer in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and was later appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

On June 18, 1812, America declared war on Great Britain after a series of trade disagreements. In August 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the White House, Capitol Building and Library of Congress. Their next target was Baltimore.

After one of Key’s friends, Dr. William Beanes, was taken prisoner by the British, Key went to Baltimore, located the ship where Beanes was being held and negotiated his release. However, Key and Beanes weren’t allowed to leave until after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry. Key watched the bombing campaign unfold from aboard a ship located about eight miles away. After a day, the British were unable to destroy the fort and gave up. Key was relieved to see the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry and quickly penned a few lines in tribute to what he had witnessed.

The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music of a popular English drinking tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” by composer John Stafford Smith. People began referring to the song as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Francis Scott Key died of pleurisy on January 11, 1843.

Citation Information

Article Title

Francis Scott Key pens “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Author

History.com Editors

Website Name

HISTORY

URL

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/key-pens-star-spangled-banner

Access Date

January 31, 2020

Publisher

A&E Television Networks

Last Updated

September 12, 2019

Original Published Date

November 24, 2009

BY HISTORY.COM EDITORS



https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/key-pens-star-spangled-banner

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Umm, Catkin--what's your point? The tear-jerker video you posted in the OP still contains many errors--no matter how many long posts you keep adding to this thread.

All that the long posts add to the topic is SUPPORT FOR MY POSTS about the errors in the video in the OP.

Are you offering the long posts as corrections to the error-ridden video you posted in the OP?

Kate


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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

In any case the Star Spangled Banner is one of the most beautiful songs lyrically I’ve ever heard and very pretty compared to other national anthems in my un-humble opinion.

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mudhouse

Is this supposed to be a hot topic?

Most things here end up hot topics, even if they don't start out that way. But why should a "non-hot topic" be questioned, when we enjoy the Friday Night Music threads, as well as others about wildlife and other harmonious topics? I've never understood the point of this question. I sure don't mind an occasional respite!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I admit--my heart always gives a little jump for joy when I hear the words "And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." Even when I was a grade schooler, the story (correct version) of the origin of Key's song always came to mind when I heard those words.

Kate

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I did not question this "non-hot topic." I was merely indicating that if it is a hot topic, I missed what made it one--other than the incorrect historical details included.

I missed that pic, barncatz. What is it supposed to be about?

Kate

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foodonastump

Nice enough tune but difficult for the masses to sing due to its range. And, apparently, easy to fumble lyrics. I always think of Ramona Quimby and the dawnzer lamp that gives off lee light.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

You're kidding, food! What disgusting pro-Trump propaganda.

Kate

ETA: Mud is right, it turns out: "Most things here end up hot topics." That pic accomplished that for me.

ETA: Evidently barncatz's post which explained what the pic was showing and to which my post here was responding was flagged by someone who didn't like the truth being exposed. I wonder--maybe I should go back and see if the pic was also flagged.

Aha! the pic (being unflattering to Trump?) has also disappeared. Our offended forum flagger has been busy reshaping several of the forum threads tonight to the flagger's satisfaction, hasn't it! Fortunately, I see barncatz has added more comments further down this thread.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“I admit--my heart always gives a little jump for joy when I hear the words "And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."”

Me too :)

And I love the way the anthem starts out hesitating, questioning, almost anxiously asking “can you see the flag? Is it still there?” and then ends in swelling triumph as the dawn breaks to reveal it still in place.

It really is a masterpiece.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Excellent description of its effects, Lindsey!

Kate

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

FOAS just belt it out as loud as you can, when you’re yelling no one notices if you miss a note or two!!

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patriciae_gw(07)

What with our being descended from immigrants and all.

It is more or less American to value a flag over people. A symbol over substance.

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barncatz

I did a Google search for the image since it was clearly not related to the Smithsonian article. It was a bit of non-explained editorial embellishment. And edited, which would probably tick off the painter.

It's by that guy with the art sized crush on Trump, Jon McNaughten.

Miss Lindsey, thanks for the laugh! I did not see the dolly. Here is Wonkette's dolly explanation, quoting the artist himself! Not quite as funny as yours:


Donald Trump sadly prays over a dead doll, which McNaughton says was "left behind by a little girl forced to make the dangerous journey," because she had very bad parents who wouldn't let her die in Central America like they should have. Instead, that poor little girl had to die in Border Patrol custody, and just look what her parents made us do!

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foodonastump

It is more or less American to value a flag over people.


Yeah, I guess that’s why we sing about the flag and not the country. The country isn’t even mentioned! That’s always seemed strange to me.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

The last line is “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Land and home both refer to the country.

It also implies, to me, that wherever the American flag flies is Home. It doesn’t need to be American soil as we now understand it.

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foodonastump

I meant “named.”

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catkinZ8a

Miss Lindsey, your post gave me chills--in a good way!

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foodonastump

This is kinda sad, but really not surprising to me:

If you don't remember the lines that come after the words "whose broad stripes and bright stars," you're not alone.

A Harris Interactive survey of 2,200 adults has found that nearly two out of three Americans, or 61 percent, do not know all the words to the "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem.


https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/WaterCooler/story?id=124484&page=1

The article is kind of old. Wonder if “The National Anthem Project” helped. I never heard of it before.

thenationalanthemproject.org

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patriciae_gw(07)

I am not surprised. Our National Anthem is hard. We don't even know the first verse. It astonishes me to hear Canadians singing their also challenging music wise Anthem with all its verses. I am not particularly invested in a song. It is a song. Patriotic fervor is not something I particularly value. I am more aware that this sort of thing comes and goes. I am more invested in stability without oppression. That is what I think we should all aim for and if a song helped that I would be good but I question that it does.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

The way Canadians sign their anthem is inspiring, I agree, and often in two languages too. When I hear a room full of kids yell “glooooor-YUS and free” I can’t help but grin.

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tryingtounderstand

I love both USA and Canadian anthems. But, it’s hard to fathom that there is a push to change some the Canadian anthem’s words, so they are more gender neutral. Canada’s Senate on Wednesday approved changing the words of “O Canada,” the country’s national anthem, to make the English-language version gender neutral. The move came after decades of unsuccessful efforts, and some last-minute political drama.

Now the second line of the anthem, which gained official status only in 1980, will soon become “True patriot love in all of us command” rather than “in all thy sons command.”

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ohiomom

In 1814, Key was a slaveholding lawyer from an old Maryland plantation family, who thanks to a system of human bondage had grown rich and powerful.

When he wrote the poem that would, in 1931, become the national anthem and proclaim our nation “the land of the free,” like Jefferson, Key not only profited from slaves, he harbored racist conceptions of American citizenship and human potential. Africans in America, he said, were: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

Smithsonian Magazine

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Toby

foodonastump

This is kinda sad, but really not surprising to me:

If you don't remember the lines that come after the words "whose broad stripes and bright stars," you're not alone.

A Harris Interactive survey of 2,200 adults has found that nearly
two out of three Americans, or 61 percent, do not know all the words to
the "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem.

There were probably a lot of us Baby Boomers in that sample. I couldn't even remember my zip code yesterday. I'd be hell on Jeopardy if I could only think of the word that I know is the answer.

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