Today, September 13, 1814: Words to Star Spangled Banner Written

After General George Washington defeated British General Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown, the British agreed to peace and formally recognized the United States of America as an independent nation when they signed the Treaty of Paris in 1781.

Several decades later, the British were at war with France. The British believed that allowing America to conduct trade with France hindered their war efforts against France, so they began to block many American ships from reaching France. In Many instances, the British ships would board the American ships, loot part or all of their cargo and then force American sailors into service as British sailors.

At the same time, Great Britain did not want to lose their control and influence on the expanding United States, so they began working heavily to establish relations with a number of Indian tribes with the promise of an Indian state around the Ohio and Michigan areas.

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The blocking of trade, forcing Americans into their service and working to secure parts of the American west at the time, eventually led to a declaration of war between the United States and Great Britain on June 18, 1812.

On August 24, 1814, the British managed to take Washington DC where they looted and then burned parts of the nation’s capital. After the capture and destruction of Washington DC, the British set their sights on capturing Baltimore, but there was one major obstacle in their way, Fort McHenry located in the middle of Baltimore Harbor.

On September 13, 1814, the British began attacking Fort McHenry. For twenty-five straight hours, the British shelled and bombed Fort McHenry. Before the bombardment began, the Americans inside the fort hoisted a large 30×42 foot American flag. That flag did not fly throughout the battle or inspire an American lawyer to pen the words to a poem. As it was, the large flag took 11 men to raise it on the flagpole. A torrential rain began to fall on Fort McHenry, so the large flag was taken down before it became so waterlogged and heavy that it broke the flagpole. The men in the fort then raised a smaller, 17×25 foot American flag that wouldn’t be so heavy in the rain or threaten to break the flagpole.

On this day, September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer and would-be songwriter who witnesses the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British, was impressed by the fortitude of the American troops inside and the American flag that appeared to fly the entire time. Key returned to Baltimore and quickly penned the first verses for a song on the back of an envelope. In re-copying his lyrics, Key added more lines till he had four full verses for his song.

Two newspapers in Baltimore then published Key’s poem. By mid-October, his poem appeared in newspapers in over 17 other cities along the East Coast. By 1854, the poem had been put to music and performed publicly. The Star Spangled Banner has continued to inspire millions of Americans.

Sadly, we have a growing number of black activists who see the Star Spangled Banner as a representation of slavery and black oppression. They fail to realize that we are not responsible for the actions of our ancestors. Instead, they chose to protest and refuse to stand for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. In my humble opinion, I say that as we celebrate the day that Key first penned the words that eventually became our national anthem that if people like San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick are so unhappy with our nation that I’m sure enough patriotic Americans would be happy to donate enough for him and his radical Muslim fiancé to leave the country and hopefully never come back!


Sources for the above includes: The Star Spangled Banner; The Lyrics; ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Writer Had Complex Record On Race; Star-Spangled Bigotry: The Hidden Racist History of the National Anthem; Francis Scott Key; Francis Scott Key Biography; Francis Scott Key, the Reluctant Patriot; The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner; Key Pens Star-Spangled Banner; 9 Things You May Not Know About “The Star-Spangled Banner”; How the National Anthem Has Unfurled; War Of 1812; Today, August 24, 1814: British Burn Washington DC, Capitol & White House; Today, June 18, 1812: U.S. Declares War Against Great Britain


Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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