2' X 3' Printed Nylon Star Spangled Banner Flag
Did you know? The original Star-Spangled-Banner flag, which is also know as the Great Garrison flag, was originally flown over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was mainly fought between the USA and great Britain and sometimes referred to as the second war of independence.
Originally measured at 30'x42' and made of cotton, the Star-Spangled-Banner was at the time the largest battle flag ever flown! George Armistead, who was the commander of Fort McHenry, wanted "a flag so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance". He succeeded.
On September 12, 1814, Boston was attacked by 5,000 British soldiers and 19 ships. The following day, on September 13, in heavy rains, the battle turned towards the fort. British bombing of the fort lasted 25 straight hours into the morning of September 14. Francis Scott Key, then a lawyer and amateur poet was aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant negotiating the release of prisoners. The British commanders would not allow him to return to his own ship and forced him to watching the bombings take place. When Key awoke on September 14th and the smoke cleared, the American flag was still visible! Key immediately relayed the message to the prisoners below deck and began writing "Defence of Fort McHenry" which would eventually become the national anthem of the United States of America! The poem was ironically written to the tune of a British drinking song: "The Anacreontic Song".
Following the battle, the flag remained in the family of Commander Armistead for much time. The Armistead family has been said to have given many pieces of the flag to family and friends, including one of the stars. This, along with the damage done during the battle, caused the flag to deteriorate quickly.
Today, the flag is housed by the Smithsonian museum in the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. It underwent a major restoration in 1999 and has been on display in a dimly lit room since 2008. This flag has become the most important flag in American history. Today, just like on September 14, 1814, the flag represents the home of the brave and the land of the free!