Happy Flag Day! Here’s a project I did back for the 200th Anniversary of F. S. Key writing what would later become the national anthem. All the type was done by hand, before being scanned in.
(Fun fact: the background image is a 1876 flag from a GAR post that I worked on restoring.)
We, sir, are ready at Fort McHenry to defend Baltimore against invading by the enemy…that is to say, we are ready except that we have no suitable ensign to display over the Star Fort and it is my desire to have a flag so large that the British will have no difficulty seeing it from a distance.
George Armistead, lamenting to General Samuel Smith of his lack of a flag to fly over Fort McHenry in advance of the Battle of Baltimore
Lucy always thought that the world fading into dramatic slow
motion was only a gimmick of the movies. That things didn’t actually stretch out,
stagger, stop, and then fall flat like a star collapsing in on itself, but
then, that was also before she traveled through time on a weekly basis. Also
before she locked eyes with Garcia Flynn among the smoldering wreckage of Fort
McHenry and original American history alike, as she can see the shock having
time to good and settle in. He turns convulsively to Cochrane. “Your Excellency
“Not now, sir.” Cochrane is more interested in graciously
accepting Armistead’s surrender, which he provides, and motioning for a
squadron of dragoons off the longboats. “Take the men up into the fort and
raise His Majesty’s colors. Deal with anyone you find, but no need to be
barbaric about it. They are, after all, His Majesty’s subjects.”
Just as Wyatt is opening his mouth, either to remark something smart
about who won the Revolutionary War or to inform Cochrane that the first man
who needs to be dealt with (preferably, in fact, barbarically) is the one
standing next to him, Armistead catches sight of Lucy and Flynn staring at each
other. A flicker of dark suspicion crosses his face, and he whirls on her. “Is this your husband, madam?” he demands.
“No bloody wonder you promised to obtain me information on Cochrane’s plans, if
your own spouse was assisting him in carrying them out! Or was it that you were passing information to him, and that is why the fort has
fallen? Is it?”
There’s an ominous clunk as the American
soldiers, surrender or no surrender, raise their muskets and point them at
Lucy. The redcoats accordingly go for their own, Wyatt throws himself in front
of her, Flynn lunges forward and grabs for the semi-automatic pistol that he
must be wearing beneath that nicely tailored Napoleonic-Royal-Navy officer’s
jacket, and the beach is on the verge of threatening to deteriorate into
complete chaos on the spot. Cochrane bellows at his men to hold their fire, and
the standoff holds, if barely. “Your wife, sir?” he demands of an equally
flabbergasted Flynn. “Your wife was among the American contingent this whole
time, and you offered none of this intelligence to me, nor suggested a word of
decency? Beastly behavior! Beastly, I say!”
“I – ” Nobody has ever seen (or likely ever will again)
Garcia Flynn so completely at a loss. “I didn’t… she’s not my – ”
“Then you will not object, sir, if we shoot her for treason?” Armistead is looking at Lucy
with a rather unsettling hatred. She’s gotten oddly used to the fact that
people in history – Robert Todd Lincoln, Ian Fleming, Harry Houdini, Josephine
Baker – seem to like her. Flirt with her, even. There is none of that here.
This man wants her dead. “A spy neither for my side nor yours, but some
nefarious agent of – what, perhaps, the French? Or – ”
“Shoot her,” Wyatt says loudly, “and you’ll only wishyou didn’t.”
“But if she’s a – ”
The American soldiers raise their muskets again. Cochrane is
looking alarmed but not as if he’s going to stop it, Armistead is furious,
Wyatt has his hand on his own gun and Rufus has picked up a very large boulder
to brain someone like Fred Flintstone if they try to touch Lucy, but there’s
still no way that’s enough of them to –
There’s a very legendary (As legendary as a Dave Mustaine show can be) performance at Ram’s Head where Mustaine played before a capacity audience of like 20, complained about the sound, got angry, and left the stage to boos and Megadeth sucks chants. Between the defense of Fort McHenry and Super Bowl XLVII, probably the greatest thing to happen in Baltimore.
Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner" Has Removed Verse Regarding Slaves Who Were Killed By US Military
The article points to the verses of the song typically removed from performances, pinning the anthem as a celebration of slavery:
“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.”
[Francis Scott] Key, who was a slave owner himself, celebrates within the song the United States’ successful attempt to kill freed slaves at the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, the Intercept claims.
So while the song is an ode to the strength of America’s military, viewed this way it’s also a slap in the face for citizens whose ancestors were brought here in captivity, freed and then killed by U.S. troops.
The #NationalAnthem celebrates victory over slaves. I posted about this in 2013 and took a lot of heat. Research what you tolerate. Few people know this because we only sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” a musical atrocity:
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.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” was written by #FrancisScottKey about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab #Canada from the #British Empire.
However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.
And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 article in Harper’s explains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read:
Let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the Black Population than with a view to any other advantage. … The great point to be attained is the cordial Support of the Black population. With them properly armed & backed with 20,000 British Troops, Mr. Madison will be hurled from his throne.
So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.
With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them. #4biddenknowledge
Here Congressman Jerry Ford unfurls a replica of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, providing the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner.“ It was one of the notable flags in our nation’s past that he highlighted while discussing the history of Flag Day in this 1955 film for his constituents in Michigan’s Fifth District.
Celebrated annually on June 14, Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by the Second Continental Congress on that day in 1777.
Gerald R. Ford Discusses Flag Day, 1955. (Ford Congressional Film AV85-001-085)
USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), At Sea, At Sea - Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, perform a 21-gun salute during the Battle of Midway ceremony aboard the dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), June 6, 2015. The 24th MEU is embarked on the ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
-What did you do before that? -I took tolls from people at the Fort McHenry tunnel. Which, I’m happy to say, wasn’t nearly as much fun. Made $22,500 and went home tired every night until I walked by the office bulletin board one night read the MDOT job posting. Port Authority officers, Schedule one, starting at $33,000 with benefits. Toll-taking days were over. Father of my two kids went to Houston in ‘99 hasn’t so much as called in three years. I wasn’t gonna make it on $22,500. Not with kids, I wasn’t. The Wire 2x04
The new Fort McHenry Forever® stamp depicts the bombardment of Baltimore’s famous fort from the vantage point of a group of soldiers manning a defensive cannon. The art also pays homage to elements of our national anthem. Can you see any of them?