BALTIMORE, July 2, 2013: At a 11:30 am celebration at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Shrine on July 4, The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) will begin recreating the 30 x 42 foot Star-Spangled Banner flag that inspired the writing of our national anthem. The flag is an authentic reproduction of the original and will take more than 100 volunteer stitchers six weeks to complete. The start of the project will be heralded with great fanfare by canon fire and living history re-enactors in 1812 era dress including the ‘first stitch’ sewn by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Beginning at 11:40 am on July 4, the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps will lead a procession around the Fort carrying the flag materials to the dais and flag pole. The Star Spangled Banner materials will be unfurled, along with two other 30 x 42 foot 1812 era United States flags. The ‘first stitch’ will be added, with the event culminating with canon fire and great celebration.
After the first stitch, the general public is invited to witness The Maryland Historical Society’s team of expert volunteer stitchers as they get underway recreating the flag. The volunteers will be located in the Fort McHenry Education Center and will be available for photos and media interviews between 12:30 pm and 4 pm.
The complete Public Event schedule at Fort McHenry on July 4 is as follows; 9:30 am: Flag Change in Star Fort, 11 am: Poetry reading and public Recitation of the Declaration of Independence,11 am: Fife and Drum Corps march through Federal Hill,11:40 am: Parade from Visitor Center with fifes and drums, Noon: ‘First Stitch’ Ceremony of the Stitching History: Recreating the Star Spangled Banner, 2 pm: Canon Firing, 3 pm: Public Recitation of the Declaration of Independence, 4:30 pm: Flag Change
Throughout the day, there will be children’s activities, men and women dressed in 1812 regalia interacting with the crowds, festive red, white and blue bunting decorating the Fort, and singing at the Historic Tavern Tent.
The finished flag will be flown for the first time on September 12, Defenders Day, and then be reunited with the original at the Smithsonian in Washington in 2014. More information is available at mdhs.org or 202-669-3065.
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