Two years into the war of 1812
The White House was seized and burned
With the President still alive and well
Our desire to strike back returned
The British were not please
Cut off, they retaliated
A kind doctor, in bed, was seized
The fighting, thus, escalated
Our government seeking to free
This elderly doctor and friend
Sent of two, (one Francis Scott Key)
To offer a prisoner exchange, in the end
A flag of truce was waved
To enter a British vessel
And the exchange was made
But, not till dawn due to the hassle
The battle that night was fierce
With combatants, each other pursuing
It would take sunshine to pierce
Through the smoke from the battle ensuing
Fort McHenry had little defense
Its large flag would tell it all
Through the night, nervous and tense
In the morning, how it stood tall!
Overcome by the sight, with much emotion
Key wrote most of the words to a song
As a patriot, expressing devotion
To our God, who had kept the land strong
He continued, more to write
As soon as they arrived ashore
A relative helped find the tune that night
Then it was handbilled for Baltimore
Now as our national anthem
It is sung as our flag is raised
As chests fill with pride often tears brim
With the words so powerfully praised
And as each lifts up their eyes
Unto the flag freely waving
Let us, too, look high to the skies
And give thanks to God for our saving
I love the fact that Francis Scott Key was an amateur poet (like me).
Who was better to write this than one trying to serve his country and bravely working negotiations to free an innocent and elderly man?
This banner, the largest battle flag in existence, measures 36 by 29 feet. It was made by Mrs. Mary Young Pickersgill and her two nieces for exactly $405.90. The material was cut at Mrs. Pickersgill's home, "No. 60 Albemarle Street, Old Town" (Pratt and Albemarle Streets, Baltimore), and carried to a nearby brewery, where it was sewed together in anticipation of the British attack on the fort.
Anyone know the history of this?
The Salt Lake Temple in 1897, draped with the U.S. flag used in the 1896 statehood celebration. Source: George Reed Collection, University of Utah.