Sacramento, United States

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Artist's Description

The American Flag is a symbol that reminds us of freedom. A most precious commodity in our world today. The cost of freedom is born by the blood of its defenders.

Perhaps we have heard the Star Spangled Banner many times and never thought of the great cost to keep freedom alive. Those who would have this symbol brought low are no respecters of human decency.

Maybe we should all give a bit of though about the great cost to keep her flying high and proud.

America has many flaws, but one of her greatest virtues is a desire that all mankind be free. This is the ultimate value that is embodied in this symbol.

All should know and understand her origins…

Early history
Francis Scott Key’s lyrics

On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison. Their objective was to secure the exchange of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro and a friend of Key’s who had been captured in his home. Beanes was accused of aiding the arrest of British soldiers. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans. At first, Ross and Cochrane refused to release Beanes, but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment.

Because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle, first aboard HMS Surprise and later back on HMS Minden. After the bombardment, certain British gunboats attempted to slip past the fort and effect a landing in a cove to the west of it, but they were turned away by fire from nearby Fort Covington, the city’s last line of defense.

During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort’s smaller “storm flag” continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket4 barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised.

During the bombardment, HMS Erebus provided the “rockets’ red glare”. HMS Meteor provided at least some of the “bombs bursting in air”.

The 15-star, 15-stripe “Star-Spangled Banner” which inspired the poem
Key was inspired by the American victory and the sight of the large American flag flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore’s Pratt Street. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution.
Please learn more here:

Digital Art
Photoshop CS5

Special Thanx to deviantart.com Stock:

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