About this time (7:00am), 198 years ago, Francis Scott Key saw the flag flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore’s harbor. This moment became the inspiration for “The Star Spangled Banner” which became our National Anthem.

On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Key’s words gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own meanings and memories.

And still we can see
As the years have gone by,
There’s a dream in our land

Like a flame that keeps burning.And the lantern of hope
From the harbor still shines.
Those who seek freedom’s dream
To its light are still turning.Now we look to the stars
And we lift up our eyes,
For we know with the dawn
We will see our Flag rise.

And this is our spangled
Banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave.