the star spangled banner

by Joanna on April 29, 2013

This weekend we checked three things off my DC bucket list: hike on Roosevelt Island, drinks with friends on the waterfront in Georgetown, and visiting the Smithsonian to see the first lady dresses!

It was a great weekend all around but the piece that really struck me, really impacted me, was something I didn’t even expect to see: the original star-spangled banner.

The small exhibit dedicated to the flag that inspired the National Anthem really touched me. I didn’t know that the Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, who has a bridge named after him going between Georgetown and Virginia.  Something about making that connection hit home for me. I guess it was like “oh, that’s who Francis Scott Key is. Yes, I guess he should have a bridge named after him.” Then thinking about the emotion that inspired the song, wow. And just as I was wrapping my head around that, around the relief, the hope, the pride he must’ve felt when he saw the flag flying at Fort McHenry, I turned the corner and saw it.

The original Star Spangled Banner.  Oh my god.  It took my breath away.

In her gown dedication speech, Michelle Obama spoke of the importance of the Smithsonian Museum and how the items throughout the museum remind us that America was built, our history written by real live people.

That’s exactly how I felt when I saw the flag. Just like wow. Someone made this. Someone wrote that song. My sense of appreciation for the National Anthem and for the American flag grew significantly. And I was proud.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Meaghan {for a song} April 30, 2013 at 11:42 am

Did you know Francis Scott Key is a relative of mine? My only famous one! We have some very cool artifacts from his day. Anyway, it’s always been particularly meaningful to me, too :)


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