Written by Francis Scott Key. The Star-Spangled Banner

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1 Written by Francis Scott Key The Star-Spangled Banner

2 After taking Washington D. C., (and burning most of the public buildings including the Capitol and the White House), the British moved on to Baltimore. Baltimore had been called a nest of pirates by the British, and they wanted to teach the city a lesson. On September 12, 1814, the British found 1,000 men in Fort McHenry guarding the harbor of the city.

3 Fort McHenry guards the entrance to Baltimore

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7 On one of the ships in the harbor was an elderly doctor named William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. His friend, a lawyer named Francis Scott Key had come to the ship to try and negotiate the release of the doctor.

8 Francis Scott Key

9 The British captain was willing, but it was the night of September 13 th, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to begin. As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over the fort. Through the night they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting, and the American flag was still flying. However, toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

10 The 15 Stars and Stripes Flag

11 A bomb launched by the British

12 Imagine the harbor loaded with British ships

13 Guns Defending Fort McHenry

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20 As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, Can you see the flag?

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22 After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called The Defence of Fort M Henry, it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted the words fit an old English tune called To Anacreon in Heaven, a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key s work became known as The Star Spangled Banner, and in 1931, Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States. Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key:

23 First Stanza O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

24 Ramparts, in case you don t know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer.

25 The Ramparts

26 Second Stanza On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

27 The towering steep is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission is a failure. In the third stanza, Key perhaps allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key was probably in no mood to act otherwise. During World War II, when the British were our greatest allies, this third stanza was not sung.

28 Third Stanza And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

29 The fourth stanza, a hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three, and with even deeper feeling.

30 Fourth Stanza O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation; Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: In God is our trust! And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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34 Taking Care of the Flag

35 At the Smithsonian Museum

36 I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears. And don t let them ever take it away. *Isaac Asimov

37 Patriotic Poem Assignment Think about how you feel toward the flag or how you feel about America. Create your own poem about these feelings. The poem needs to have 8 lines, and must be a rhyming poem.

38 Possible Poetic Formats A A B B C C D D A B A B C D C D A E B E C E D E

39 We live in the land of the free, Thanks to the soldiers who fought for you and me. We look at the flag so high, It s so beautiful up in the sky. Blue for valor, innocence of white, And rays of light from our stripes. Its colors stand out of red, white, and blue, As it blows in the wind, it s like it s waving to you.

40 I write this poem, pen filled with sorrow For the uncertain future of tomorrow Sometimes I wonder with all my heart Is this country going to come apart? But all my fears fade to gray When I see old glory flay away To stare upon the flag is marvelous and true And think about what your country has done for you

41 America is cool Other countries drool We keep our country tidy We are strong and mighty England is a friend We make items to send Our capital is Washington, D. C. This country is for me

42 I ve loved this land more than you ll ever know The feeling s so strong it has no way to show With freedom of speech and other great things We all love to fight for it, a bee and its sting America is a really neat place The love clearly shows on most peoples face And with all these choices we have at hand We should all know that America s our land

43 We set aside Memorial Day Each and every year To honor those who gave their lives Defending what we hold dear They made the ultimate sacrifice Fighting for the American way We admire them and respect them On every Memorial Day

44 The eagle soars Across the sky The flag unfurls As we watch it fly The Statue of Liberty The Liberty Bell Are symbols of freedom For justice did prevail

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