The Star-Spangled Banner is more than just the name of our National Anthem. In July 1813, Major General George Armistead was the commander of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. He went to the commander of Baltimore defenses to request a huge flag. This flag didn’t fly during the battle at the Fort, but it was raised the next day. That’s when Francis Scott Key saw it and realized the British attack failed. The poem he wrote inspired by the flag was eventually given the same name as the flag: The Star-Spangled Banner.
The Making of the Star-Spangled Banner
The Path of the Flag
The flag is now at the Smithsonian, but it’s smaller than the original size and damaged from years of use and from the pieces being divided up. Two centuries later, and the flag that inspired America’s National Anthem has survived and can still be viewed.