The 'Stitching History' Star-Spangled Banner Project Begins Today
PHOTO: The Maryland Historical Society is recreating the Star-Spangled Banner flag with the same materials originally used by Mary Pickersgill 200 years ago. Photo credit: "Mary Pickersgill Making the Flag.” Oil on canvas by R. McGill Mackall, MdHS, 1976.80.61
July 4, 2013
BALTIMORE - As the nation marks Independence Day, Marylanders are recreating history. The Maryland Historical Society (MDHS) has called on the public to help recreate the 30-foot by 42-foot Star-Spangled Banner flag that inspired the national anthem. The society's "Stitching History" project kicks off during the Fourth of July festivities at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
MHS Director of Education Kristen Shenning said volunteers will make a replica of the original wool flag that was commissioned for Fort McHenry in the summer of 1813.
"It's the iconic symbol of our national identity, really, and it comes out of the defense of Fort McHenry, the battle of Baltimore and the writing of the National Anthem," Shenning explained.
On several more days this summer, the public will be invited to help make the flag, she added. The hope is that Marylanders will be more connected to such an inspirational part of the nation's history.
"When you see that flag flying, when you see it being part of ceremonies and all those things celebrating the bi-centennial of the war of 1812, then you can look at it and say, 'That's my flag. I made that. I put a stitch in that flag,'" she said.
The plan is to complete the flag in six weeks, just as Mary Pickersgill did 200 years ago.
Information about the project is available at www.mdhs.org.