Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison recently proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 14, at Star-Spangled Banner Day.
He presented the proclamation to Arkansas Honorary U.S.D. 1812 State Presidents Sharon Stanley Wyatt and Sheila Beatty-Krout. Members Judy Robbins, Maralou Speer, Peggy Cara and Pat McLemore also attended the event, according to a news release.
The United States Daughters of 1812 (U.S.D. 1812) is committed to preserving American history, particularly the history of the forgotten War of 1812, according to the release.
“After assuming command, Fort McHenry’s new commander, Maj. George Armistead in 1813, asked for a suitable flag to fly above it — so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance,” according to a news release.
“The request was granted and widow Mary Pickersgill started fabricating a standard-sized garrison flag, 42 by 30 feet, with 15 stars stretching 26 inches across and two-foot stripes, 15 of them. On Sept. 13, 1814, British warships attacked Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours,” according to the release.
Francis Scott Key had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested, according to the release.
“Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not release them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on Sept. 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away,” according to the release.
When darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky.
“Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. In the clearing smoke of ‘the dawn’s early light’ on Sept. 14, he saw the American flag flying over the fort, announcing an American victory,” according to the release.
Key ’s poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country.