Sunday, August 28, 2016

Birth of an Anthem

In my time here, I haven't found much that Baltimore can brag about.  But one thing it does have is claim to the birthplace of our national anthem.  It was a battle in Baltimore harbor during the war of 1812 where Francis Scott Key was held by the British while they attempted to defeat the troops at Fort McHenry and the citizens of Baltimore. The morning where he found "our flag was still there" was the flag flying over this fort.

With the free National Park Weekend celebrating 100 years of the U.S. National Park Service, it seemed appropriate to go visit the fort (which is actually just down the street from where we have been this entire time). The fort now sits in a harbor surrounded by industry and row houses that appear to be undergoing a gentrification. But in the 1800's it was a key defense for the area.

We were there early in the day and, along with a moderate number of Asian school kids, raised the replica of the flag that Francis Scott Key saw the morning after the battle. The flag is 30 feet by 42 feet and handling this in even a light wind is a task.  It would probably make a really nice spinnaker though.

It is definitely a replica...a few stars shy of the 50 we have today. An impressive size flag though.

If you find yourself in the area and want to go visit the fort, I recommend going early on a day where the weather is supposed to be nice and not too windy.  The you can watch, or help, lower the small flag that flies at night and raise the larger 15 star replica.

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