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Historical Flags - The Star Spangled Banner
 

 

When Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the Union, Congress added a stripe and a star to the flag for each of them.This flag of 15 stars and 15 stripes waved over Fort McHenry when the British Navy attacked on the night of September 13, 1814. Francis Scott Key was a hostage on the British Frigate “Surprise”. All night through he watched the gallant defense of Fort McHenry. In the first pale streaks of dawn he saw that the flag still proudly waved over the ramparts and was inspired to write the words of our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

It was this banner under which the American Navy waged a war against the Barbary Pirates and which they hoisted over the fort at Derne, Tripoli, on April 27, 1805, following an assault on that place by American Marines and Bluejackets. It was the flag under which Commodore Perry won the battle of Lake Erie, and General Andrew Jackson the signal victory over the British Regulars under Sir Edward Pakenham at New Orleans.

 
To learn more about the Star Spangled Banner and its restoration at the Smithsonian Museum click here
 
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