CBS’s short history of the flag at the Battle of Baltimore, Fort McHenry, and the new replica flag


Francis Scott Key beholding the still-flying Star-spangled Banner, after the Battle of Baltimore, 1814.  1912 painting by Edgar Percy Moran, Wikipedia image.

“By Dawn’s Early Light”: Francis Scott Key beholding the still-flying Star-spangled Banner, after the Battle of Baltimore, 1814. 1912 painting by Edgar Percy Moran, Wikipedia image.

Short videos often pack a heckuva punch for history classes.  Here’s one from today’s CBS “Sunday Morning,” with Charles Osgood reporting on the creation and flying at Fort McHenry of a replica of a flag that flew there 199 years ago on September 14 — the inspiration to Francis Scott Key for his poem, “The Star-spangled Banner.”

<iframe frameborder=”0″ width=”480″ height=”270″ src=”//www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x15schq” allowfullscreen>
Star-Spangled Banner flies again at Fort McHenry by cbsnews

Star-Spangled Banner flies again at Fort McHenry by cbsnews

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-star-spangled-banner-yet-waves-anew/

Published on Sep 15, 2013

CBS News video: Star-Spangled Banner flies again at Fort McHenry – Applying the same techniques used nearly two hundred years ago, a team of quilters created an exact replica of the flag that flew over Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812, the same flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen our national anthem. Charles Osgood reports.

This is history that most of my juniors didn’t know.  It’s not history we’re supposed to teach, but it’s history they are accountable for on Texas tests.  A short video like this one at a key spot can boost scores on the state tests — and, though I’ve not been victimized by them yet, the new end-of-course tests probably assume juniors know this stuff, too.

I hope CBS keeps this piece available for history teachers, especially through 2014 and the 200th anniversary of the battle, and Key’s writing of the poem.

More:

Fort McHenry today:

Aerial view of Fort McHenry, at the mouth of Baltimore Harbor, clearly show the star design that made it more defensible from ground attack. During the Battle of Baltimore, British troops were not able to land and get close to the fort.  Image from the office of the Governor of Maryland, via the National Park Service

Aerial view of Fort McHenry, at the mouth of Baltimore Harbor, clearly show the star design that made it more defensible from ground attack. During the Battle of Baltimore, British troops were not able to land and get close to the fort. Image from the office of the Governor of Maryland, via the National Park Service

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6 Responses to CBS’s short history of the flag at the Battle of Baltimore, Fort McHenry, and the new replica flag

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for the history. Not in keeping exactly with Schaeffer’s pro-employee reputation, but perfectly in keeping with his keep-to-the-budget reputation.

    Like

  2. mark says:

    Ed–Prior to 1995, Maryland State employees had about 15 holidays (16 if the governor was running for reelection). These included Defenders’ Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Mayrland Day (March 25), and Good Friday. Constant financial shortfalls led Gov Willy Don by 1995 to declare these 4 holidays to be “floating holidays”–offices would remain open and workers would need to get permission to take the day off (earning compensatory time if they worked). Eventually floating holidays were simply dropped and the holiday/leave allowances were juggled to sort of balance out. American Indian Heritage Day was added, because nobody showed up for work the day after Thanksgiving anyway. For a couple of years there was also a Service Reduction Day, a day off to celebrate not getting paid for a day.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Mark, I’m curious: When did the Defenders Day holiday go away? Was William Donald Schaeffer alive when it was killed, and in any office?

    He had a history of doing things differently, to the benefit of workers, and getting the money savings anyway. I’m curious.

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  4. mark says:

    Maryland State employees used to have a holiday on “Defenders’ Day,” until it was taken away in order to save money. There would be a bit of talk about the holiday and what it commemorated, at least in the Baltimore area. Maryland made available a cmmemorative license plate for the bicentennial of the War.

    Like

  5. Ed Darrell says:

    For juniors in high school, eleventh graders, U.S. history covers from 1877 to present — so this is out of the range of topics to be covered. This becomes more salient this year, because juniors will be given an end-of-course exam that focuses on the material in this class only, hypothetically.

    Up to now, the material was supposed to be covered in elementary or junior high, but was often not covered because students were not tested on social studies in those years.

    Texas standards and the bizarre testing schedules and bizarre tests, have driven out of social studies most things other than rote memorization of certain facts that are certain to be tested in certain ways. There is some hope that the new end-of-course exams will be different. But not much.

    Consequently, fun stuff like this story gets driven out — this story tends to captivate boys particularly, but also girls who identify with the team of women who sewed the flag and other Baltimore and Washington women involved in these 1814 battles. It serves as a bit of an anchor for other learning — that the anthem happened almost accidentally, that the anthem does not come from the American Revolution, that the War of 1812 exists in history, to mention a few.

    And so, I recommend the use of video, to pack a lot of information and meaning into a short period, and keep the administrators in the dark that a teacher is actually educating kids instead of just drilling them for regurgitation of rote.

    Like

  6. Why are “they” not responsible for teaching this in history

    Like

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