One of the exciting events at the Battle of Caulk’s Field Bicentennial Re-enactment was the unfurling of the recreated 15 Star-Spangled Banner Flag. The 15 Star-Spangled Banner Flag flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 during the night that Baltimore was attached by the British. This flag inspired Frances Scott Key to write the National Anthem.
The Maryland Historical Society decided to recreate Mary Young Pickersgill’s flag in a 30-by-42 foot garrison flag and a 17-by-25 foot storm flag for Fort McHenry. Research about the flag was gathered from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History were the original flag is on display. They decided to use authentic materials to make the flags. The wool bunting fabric was authentically woven by Family Heirloom Weavers – hundreds of yards of red, white, and blue bunting. Below is some of the thread used to weave the bunting.
Over 2000 volunteer stitchers, from around the world, young and old, came together in Baltimore to hand stitch the flags. Some stitchers added one stitch to the flags in a week of “Add A Stitch” event held by the Society. But many stitchers worked tirelessly from March through August 2013 to stitch the flags. Here is a star section of the large flag.
During the re-enactment the flag was unfurled by event attendees. First two lines were formed and the flag was passed along from one person to another.
Then the lines slowly step back and others grabbed the sides as the flag unfurled.
It was a moving event to see so many people working together to spread the flag to its full size.
The next time the flag will be flown over Fort McHenry on Defender’s Day, September 12th.
I’d like to thank Kristin Schenning for sharing information about the flags and explaining all of the work it took to recreate Star-Spangled Banner. Please check out more about the Maryland Historical Society and the Star-Spangled Banner at http://www.mdhs.org.
Much of the War of 1812 was fought on or near the bay. This year is the 200th of the Battle of Caulk’s Field, the Star-Spangled Banner and the National Anthem. These events are unique historical events in the Chesapeake Bay area and Baltimore.