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We have been living here for almost a year now and although I have been in the U.S.A. for Independence Day several times before, it is my first Fourth of July as a permanent resident, living here :-)

Last week I was in Baltimore, MD for a seminar and I had really little free time. I used it to visit the Star Spangled Banner Flag House. This is the house where Mary Pickersgill sewed the giant flag that was to wave over Fort McHenry during the 1812 war and that was to inspire Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.

Here is a little history:

In 1813 the United States was embroiled in the midst of the War of 1812 against the British. Washington had just been burned and the British were turning their attention to Baltimore. Defenses at Ft McHenry were prepared and the commander, Major George Armistead felt that the only thing still needed for the fort was “a flag so large that the British should have no difficulty seeing it from a distance.” He approached Mary about making the flag, whose dimensions would measure 30 feet hoist by 42 feet fly.

Mary agreed to make the flag in time period of only six weeks. With help from her daughter and two nieces, Mary sewed the flag in her small Baltimore home. When the flag became too large, it was taken to Claggett’s Brewery where it was laid out on the floor of the basement so that it could be completed.

The flag flew over Fort McHenry for a year before the British bombardment on September 13 and 14, 1814. The sight of the large garrison flag flying over Fort McHenry after the 25-hour bombardment inspired Francis Scott Key [who was being held captive by the British aboard ship, saw the flag and penned the famous poem “The Defense of Ft McHenry”, now known as the “Star-Spangled Banner”] to write the poem which became our National Anthem.

Below are some pictures I took there. Enjoy while hopefully, you are spending a great Fourth of July! Happy birthday, America!

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