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.