The US Flag and the Smithsonian Institution
Each fourth of July holiday, we in the United States celebrate our Independence Day. In addition to being an excuse for many to detonate large quantities of explosives, it’s also a day when American flags of all sizes hang from houses and line parade routes and yards. But the flag we display today has evolved quite a bit from the ones which were around when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
The Smithsonian Institution currently has a marvelous and detailed online exhibit on the history and development of the official flag of the United States of America…what we often refer to as the “Stars and Stripes.” Contrary to popular belief, the flag — even the earlier versions of it — didn’t play a key role in the Revolutionary Era. Much of the tale begins with Francis Scott Key, the little-understood Battle of 1812, Fort McHenry, Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead, and a widow named Mary Pickersgill.
There is also a section of the site dedicated to a song you may have heard at a ballgame or two: Key’s own “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Check it out HERE.