The popular song of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, is known to all Americans. It is introduced to us at a young age and is played before every significant spotting event. As we hear the music and sing the words, we picture the stars and stripes gleaming brightly on our country’s flag. It’s so familiar in our everyday lives that we forget it wasn’t always our national anthem. Actually, you might be surprised to learn a few aspects regarding our national song. We’ve produced a list of six facts about this classic song that you might find fascinating. Even the most patriotic of Americans may be surprised. Continue reading to discover if you know all of these strange facts about our national song.
It Was Influenced by a Poem
Francis Scott Key watched ships pulling into Baltimore Harbour after a fierce engagement during the War of 1812. He observed the flag flying proudly atop a navy ship that was about to announce victory against the attackers. With the backdrop of a smoke-filled sky caused by the roaring rockets. He wrote the words to this song after observing this image. It was intended to be a poetry at first, but a few years later his brother turned it into a song, which was quickly embraced as a type of naval hymn. Years later, it would become our national anthem.
Errors Were in the Original
The original sheet music, written by Key’s brother, was titled “A Pariotic Song.” This notable spelling error was overlooked, and duplicates of the sheet music were created. There are just a few dozen copies of the 1814 sheet music extant, but you may laugh at the fact that even composers make mistakes.
There Are Several Verses
The song that is played at sporting events and other important occasions only has one verse; nevertheless, the original song has four more verses. Each lyric concludes, “O’er the free nation and the home of the brave.”
The Author Was A Lawyer
During the War of 1812, specifically in 1814, Key, a lawyer, poet, and field artillerist in the District of Columbia Militia, was dispatched to Baltimore on a mission to negotiate the release of a medical friend from Upper Marlborough, Maryland, who had been imprisoned by the British. He saw the British attack on Fort McHenry and the hoisting of the American flag over the walls shortly after the conflict concluded. He eventually wrote the national song as a poem.
The Melody Was Based On A Drinking Song
Before there was media and news sources, presidential candidates and anybody attempting to get facts out to the public rapidly would use drinking songs and catchy tunes to propagate propaganda. They’d sing them in the taverns, and it rapidly became popular. During President Adam’s re-election campaign, he plagiarized a British song for his anti-Jefferson propaganda, and the song immediately became popular. This classic earworm inspired the music to which Key’s poetry was composed.
It Was Written 117 Years Prior To Being Our Anthem
As previously stated, Key composed his poem in 1814, but it was not formally chosen as the national anthem until 1931. A cartoon in Ripley’s Believe It or Not casually remarked that America did not have a national anthem, which sparked a 5 million signature petition to Congress requesting an official anthem. As a result, America went 117 years without an anthem.
The Big Significance of Flying a Flag
Flags are essential emblems of national pride and identity. They are often prominently exhibited, and their designs can often be rather complicated. Typically, the nation or organization that a flag represents will include colors and shapes that are significant to that nation or group. The horizontal red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies of the United States, while the blue field in the upper left quadrant of the flag represents union. The national flag of Japan is a white rectangle with a red circle in the center. This circle is designed to represent the sun. Frequently, the names of the nations or organizations that the flags symbolize have become synonymous with the flags themselves. People typically link the French flag with the country when they think of France. One can use flags to demonstrate support for a certain group or cause. Spectators regularly wave flags at athletic events, while protesters may carry flags while marching. Regardless of why they are flown, flags are significant in a variety of civilizations around the globe.
Understanding Each Color’s Significance in the American Flag
The American flag is a striking representation of both liberty and democracy. It is commonly believed that the colors red, white, and blue on the American flag represent the blood shed by American troops, the holiness of the nation’s values, and the breadth of the nation’s geography. The official design of the flag, on the other hand, was derived from a far simpler source. It was based on the family crest of George Washington. Because they are considered “heraldic hues,” red, white, and blue have been selected for the crest. Or, to put it another way, throughout history they have functioned as symbols of aristocracy and nobility. This relationship with George Washington’s status as a wealthy landowner may seem to contradict the patriotic sense of the flag. However, it is essential to recall that during the nation’s early years, there existed a great respect for acknowledged traditions and established authorities. Adding heraldic colors to the flag was likely conceived as a way for the nation to express its gratitude for its founding father. Clearly, the significance of the flag has gotten considerably more nuanced throughout time. It is significant to both the nation’s history and the national identity of many Americans. It also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by countless generations of Americans in the service of justice and freedom.
How To Appropriately Dispose Of An Old Flag
Once a flag has reached the point where it can no longer be flown, it is imperative that it be disposed of in a courteous manner. The most proper step is to burn the flag. You have the option of doing this action secretly or publicly. If you choose to burn the flag on your own, you should do so in a responsible and safe manner. Ensure that the fire is large enough to totally consume the flag and that it cannot spread to other areas. After the flag has been reduced to ash, you are free to dispose of the ashes as you see fit. Others may prefer to scatter their ashes in a chosen location, while others choose to cremate and bury their loved ones. Regardless of how you choose to dispose of the ashes it contains, giving an old flag a befitting send-off is one way to honor what it represents.
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