Add a Stitch to the Star Spangled Banner
You’ve proudly hailed the Star Spangled Banner by many a light, including the twilight’s last gleaming.
This summer you can get closer, as the revered 30-by-42-foot flag commissioned for Fort McHenry in the summer of 1813 is restitched in replica.
Stitching begins on Independence Day at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine, where Francis Scott Key saw, through the rockets’ red glare, that our flag was still there.
Beginning at 11:40am, the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps leads a procession carrying the red, white and blue fabric made on antique looms by Family Heirloom Weavers. The Star Spangled Banner materials will be unfurled, and the first stitch made at noon by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The whole day will be out of history, with men and women dressed in 1812 regalia, festive red, white and blue bunting decorating the Fort, singing at the Historic Tavern Tent and children’s activities.
Stitching will continue for six weeks, the same time it took Mary Pickersgill to make the original 200 years ago.
Most stitching will be done by more than 150 experienced quilters recruited from around the country. From July 5 to August 22, the group will work up to eight hours a day and then assemble the flag in three sections, including the long stripes, the short stripes and the blue field.
On two days, you can add your handwork to the flag: Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 11 from noon until 3pm. You’ll be joined by the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps, celebrity guests, actors in period costume, exhibits from friends and partners and tempting food trucks.
The finished flag will be flown at Fort McHenry on Defender’s Day in September, 2013. It will also be used for public events in the Bicentennial year of the writing of the national anthem and the defense of the city of Baltimore.
Next year, it will move to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where the original Star-Spangled Banner is permanently on display.
Register ahead to add your stitch: 410-685-3750 x 377; firstname.lastname@example.org.