Sunday, September 8, 2013


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Fort McHenry

A city-wide celebration commemorating the completion of the sewing of the flag

WHEN: Friday, September 13 - Sunday, September 15, during the Star-Spangled Banner Defenders' Day Weekend.
WHERE:  There will be a host of activities throughout Baltimore, including a special ceremony here at The Maryland Historical Society on Friday, September 13 at 1:30 PM.*

MHS is partnering with Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine, the United States Mint, and the U.S. Army to put together a truly unforgettable event.

Local school students will sing the National Anthem as the U.S. Army Old Guard Color Guard will fold the flag for transport to Fort McHenry. Ranger Vince Vaise, Fort McHenry Chief of Interpretation, will speak about the Battle Monument, a stop at which the flag will briefly visit on its way to Fort McHenry.

What Is Defenders' Day?
Defenders' Day is Baltimore's oldest holiday. It honors the successful defense of the city from British attack and the writing of the National Anthem in 1814.
This year we will celebrate Defenders' Day on the weekend of September 13-September 15. The completed flag will be flown at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on September 14, 2013. The flag will also be used for school programs and other public events in the Bicentennial year of the writing of the national anthem and the defense of the city of Baltimore.


*The complete Public Event schedule on September 13 at The Maryland Historical Society is as follows:

1:30 PM: Welcome by Burt Kummerow

1:35 PM: Ceremonial transfer of flag for the Defenders' Day celebrations

1:45 PM: Keynote by Ranger Vince Vaise on history and importance of monument and flag

1:55 PM: Singing of Star-Spangled Banner by School and Presentation of the colors

4:00 PM: Star-Spangled Banner Flag visits the Battle Monument. Featuring Fort McHenry Guard fife and drum music

Flag FlyingOver at Fort McHenry, the celebration will commence at 10 AM on Friday, September 13. The newest quarter in the United States Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for 2013 will be launched. It features Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner and will be available all weekend at the Fort!

Visitors can exchange cash for new Fort McHenry quarters in $10 increments (while supplies last), courtesy M&T Bank. There is a $10, one roll minimum and $100, 10 roll maximum.

On Saturday, September 14 beginning at 9 AM at Fort McHenry, there will be a large living history encampment featuring military drills, cooking demonstrations, musket firing, dress parade, cannon firing and a children's program featuring authors and local historians.

And at 6 PM on Saturday, September 14 at Fort McHenry, the recreated Star-Spangled Banner flag will be transported by the U.S. Army Old Guard on a caisson drawn by seven beautiful horses. This is the same horse-drawn caisson used at Arlington National Cemetery, and it's one of the rare times it has ever left the Cemetery grounds.

The U.S. Army Drill Team will showcase a precision drill followed by a cannon-firing "battle" demonstrating the tactics used to defend Baltimore back in 1814. There will also be a patriotic concert by the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus performing the "1812 Overture," complete with cannon fire.

And, as the sun sets, a symbolic ship-to-shore "bombardment" will commence, with pyrotechnic "bombs bursting in air" over the Fort and cannon thunder replies. The flag will be ceremoniously raised over the fort, to the singing of the National Anthem.

A 30-minute large fireworks display will provide the capstone to the evening. You won't want to miss it!

For complete details about Defenders' Day activities at The Maryland Historical Society, see the website: And for details about Defenders' Day activities at Fort McHenry, visit: