These National Anthem Facts You Didn’t Know

All Americans are familiar with the tune that serves as our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. We learn it at an early age, and it is performed before each significant sporting event. When we hear the music and sing the lyrics, we picture the stars and stripes on the American flag blazing brightly. We no longer recognize it as our national anthem because it has gotten so ingrained in our daily lives. You might be surprised to learn a few things about our national song, in fact. Six fascinating facts about this well-known song are listed below. Even the most ardent Americans might be surprised. Check your knowledge of the strange facts surrounding our national anthem by reading on.

Poetic Influence

Francis Scott Key saw ships returning to Baltimore Harbor following a fierce engagement during the War of 1812. As the naval ship prepared to announce its victory over the assault, he saw the flag flying with pride atop it against the backdrop of a smoke-filled sky created by the booming missiles. He wrote the lyrics to this song after witnessing this sight. Although it was first intended to be poetry, his brother later turned it into a song, which swiftly gained popularity as a sort of naval hymn. Later, it would be adopted as our national anthem.

Flawed Origins

The “A Patriotic Song” original sheet music was composed by Key’s brother. The sheet music was duplicated due to this significant spelling error. Even composers make mistakes; there are just a few dozen copies of the 1814 sheet music remaining in existence.

Several Verses

The song that is played at sporting events and other significant events only contains one verse; the original tune has four additional verses. Each stanza ends with the phrase “O’er the free nation and the home of the brave.”

The Author Was an Attorney

Key, a District of Columbia Militia lawyer, poet, and field artillerist, was dispatched to Baltimore during the War of 1812 to make arrangements for the release of a friend who was a doctor from Upper Marlborough, Maryland, but had been detained by the British. He saw the British attack on Fort McHenry shortly after the combat was over, as well as the American flag being raised over the fort’s walls. In the end, he turned the national anthem into a poem.

A Drinking Song

Before there were media and news sources, politicians and anyone else who wanted to quickly inform the public would use catchy songs and drinking songs to propagate propaganda. They would perform them in the pubs, and the word quickly spread. President Adam used a British song that was intended for anti-Jefferson propaganda during his campaign for reelection, and the tune quickly gained popularity. Key’s writing was influenced by this catchy earworm.

It Took 117 Years

Even though Key composed his poem in 1814, it wasn’t until 1931 that it was fully recognized as the country’s anthem. A 5 million signature petition to Congress for the creation of an official anthem was started after a cartoon in Ripley’s Believe It or Not casually observed that America lacked a national anthem. As a result, the country was without an anthem for 117 years.

How Important It Is to Fly a Flag

Flags are significant markers of a country’s identity and pride. Their designs can be rather intricate, and they are frequently shown conspicuously. The colors and shapes on a flag that represents a country or organization are typically important to that country or organization. The horizontal red and white stripes on the flag stand in for the 13 original colonies, while the blue region in the upper left corner of the flag symbolizes togetherness. A red circle in the middle of a white rectangle makes up the national flag of Japan. This circle is a representation of the sun.

It is common for people to identify the names of the countries or organizations that the flags represent. Many people quickly conjure up the French flag when they think of that country. Flags can be flown in support of a particular cause or organization. At athletic events, flags are regularly waved by spectators, and protesters may carry flags while marching. Regardless of the reason they are flown, flags are significant in many cultures around the world.

Understanding Each Color’s Significance in the American Flag

The American flag is a potent representation of democracy and freedom. The colors of the American flag—red, white, and blue—are frequently associated with the nation’s blood shed by its soldiers, the holiness of its ideals, and the size of its territory. On the other hand, the official flag’s design came from a far simpler source. George Washington’s family crest served as its model. Because they are regarded as “heraldic colors,” the colors red, white, and blue were selected for the crest. Again, throughout history, they have represented nobility and monarchy.

This relationship with George Washington’s wealth as a landowner could seem to go against the spirit of patriotism represented by the flag. However, it is important to keep in mind that there was a significant reverence for established traditions and authorities throughout the early years of the country. Heraldic colors were probably added to the flag to express the nation’s gratitude to its founding fathers. The significance of the flag has unquestionably grown much more nuanced over time. It is significant to both the history of the nation and many Americans’ sense of national identity. It also acts as a monument to the sacrifices made by numerous American generations in support of justice and freedom.

How to Properly Dispose of an Old Flag

A flag must be appropriately disposed of once it reaches the point where it can no longer be flown. Burning the flag is the most appropriate course of action. This activity can be carried out either in private or in public. You must burn the flag carefully and responsibly if you decide to do it on your own. Make sure the fire is big enough to burn the flag down completely and that it doesn’t spread to other areas. Once the flag has been reduced to ash, you are free to discard the ashes. While some people would prefer to cremate and bury their loved ones, others might want to scatter their ashes in a particular location. No matter how you choose to dispose of the ashes it contains, giving an old flag a proper send-off is one way to respect what it stands for.

For information on all the flagpole parts and accessories you’ll need to show your patriotism, go to

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