Monday, July 4, 2011

THE Star Spangled Banner

Today, those of us in the U.S. of A. are celebrating Independence Day!

Today, I'm thinking back to January, when our little family took a trip to Washington, D.C. and saw the flag that started it all... The Star Spangled Banner.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I went to see the flag. I knew it was the one that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what is now our national anthem, the one that flew in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812.

What I didn't know was that just seeing the flag would be enough to bring tears to my eyes. I somehow felt a connection to all the brave Soldiers who fought that day in 1814 while this flag waved nearby. Looking at this American flag, I came to a deeper understanding of what our flag represents and it took on a more personal meaning for me than it ever had before.

The Star Spangled Banner is in the National Museum of American History, one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums on the Mall. To give you an idea of the scale each star on the flag measures approximately 2 feet (0.6 meters) across.

Just down the street from the museum is another national symbol, the Washington Monument. We found it refreshingly desolate in the cold morning hours that day.

The Washington Monument by Tricia @ SweeterThanSweets

I realize that people who are not from the United States sometimes see our patriotism as narcissistic. But on the 4th of July, we are thankful for those who have stood up for the principles upon which our country was founded. We remember with grateful hearts those who serve and who have served in our military as well as their families. We wave our American flags to remind us that we are united by, if nothing else, our citizenship. We set off fireworks to celebrate and enjoy life, but also to remind us of the "rockets red glare" that inspired the writing of our National Anthem 197 years ago.

Now I'd love to hear from you in the comments. What symbol reminds you most of what we celebrate on July 4th? For those of you who are not from the U.S., what symbol best represents your country's history?


  1. Thank you for sharing your trip to see the original star-spangled banner. The flag is the symbol for me too, that reminds me how grateful I am for my country.

  2. Happy 4th of July to you! Thanks for showing pictures of the original flag - that is so enlightening.

  3. Happy Independence Day! It's good for us to reflect on our country's foundation and be grateful for God's blessings upon us. Love of country and knowledge of its history is important and we need to pass on the torch to future generations. I love the picture of the flag you included in your post! Wow!

  4. Happy Independence Day! What a wondrous tribute post to our country. :D

  5. Wow! I've never seen the actual flag. I think a trip for us needed, as well.

    Stopping in from the Etsy blog team :)
    Happy 4th!

  6. What a great post. When I think of the 4th of July I always tend to think of fireworks and picnics. For some reason those big statutes always come to mind. You know the ones with the presidents and such.

  7. Happy Independence day!
    I wish you are enjoying.
    What is actual design of this flag. I saw moew then design. Can you suggest me which is used in current ?


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