Oh say can you stitch? That’s the question the Maryland Historical Society put to 100 of the country’s most adept quilters recently in recruiting 100 volunteers to recreate the original 30’ x 42’ (read closely—that’s feet, not inches) Star-Spangled Banner flag that inspired the writing of our national anthem (named after the flag itself, as we know). But even with 100 super-fast stitchers, this is no mean feat. It’ll take the volunteers six weeks to complete—that’s as long as it took to create the original flag, but with far fewer hands at work. The project begins on July 4 at Fort McHenry and will be accompanied by an appropriate amount of fanfare, including a procession led by the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps, the ‘first stitch’ being sewn by a prominent Maryland citizen, and even a culmination with canon fire.
The public event on July 4 begins at 9:30am with a Flag Change, and continues with a poetry reading, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence before the procession, parade, and stitching get underway. 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. Of course, the stitchers will keep stitching long after you’ve gone home to fire up the barbecue that evening. When it’s finished, the flag will be flown at Fort McHenry during Defender’s Day in September.
For more information about the Stitching History Project, or the Maryland Historical Society, visit www.mdhs.org.
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