On a recent trip to Baltimore, my friend Rose and I came face to face with a replica of the very flag that prompted Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. We spied the Great Flag Window in the Star Spangled Bangled Banner Flag House. The flag is an exact replica of the flag that Mary Pickersgill created in the summer of 1813.
The Flag House is located at Mary’s home. As the War of 1812 unfurled, Mary created the 30 by 42 foot flag that Francis Scott Key saw from his view on a British ship the day after the British bombardment of Chesapeake Bay.
Francis Scott Key was an attorney that had secured the freedom of another American from the British. They were not allowed off the ship until after the attack on Baltimore. The morning after the battle, Key saw the flag still flying at Fort McHenry and he was so moved that penned the poem that he first called “Defense of Fort. McHenry”. The song was printed and hit the streets of Baltimore and soon everyone was calling it “The Star Spangeled Banner”.
As Paul Harvey always said, “that’s the rest of the story”. For information about the Star Spangled Banner Flag House log onto the website.(http://flaghouse.org ).