- What was the name of the British ship that Francis Scott Key
was on when he saw the flag flying over Fort McHenry and wrote "The Star
- Francis Scott Key was not on a British ship at that time. After
Admiral Cochrane freed Dr. Beanes, Key, Beanes and Col. Skinner were allowed to
return to their flag-of-truce vessel, one of a group of sloops that was leased
by the Federal Government during the time. While they were allowed to return to
their own vessel, that vessel was not allowed to return to port until after the
British attack. So Key saw the Star Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry
while aboard a Chesapeake Bay sloop. The name of that sloop has been lost to
antiquity, but it was probably the sloop "President".
- Who REALLY wrote "The Star Spangled Banner"?
- Francis Scott Key REALLY wrote "The Star Spangled Banner".
"The Star Spangled Banner" is a poem set to the tune of "To Anacreon in
Heaven.", a theme song for a British social club. It was probably a
collaborative effort, but John Stafford Smith, who composed the British
national anthem, probably had as much to do with it as anyone.
Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner", and the words we sing today are
exactly the words he wrote in September of 1814, though the original title was
"The Defense of Fort McHenry".
- What was the national anthem before "The Star Spangled
- Before 1931, when Congress made "The Star Spangled Banner" our
national anthem, the United States didn't have one. During official functions,
bands would frequently play "The Star Spangled Banner", but it had no official
status, and neither did any other song.
- What is proper etiquette when "The Star Spangled Banner" is
- Actually, the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner" (the song)
commands the same respect as the raising or lowering of The Star Spangled
Banner (the flag). People are to stand still, remain silent, face the flag, or,
if the flag isn't visible, face the band (or other source of the music), and
place their right hand over their hearts. Men are to remove any hats or other
headgear and hold them in their right hand. Members of the Armed Services of
the United States, in uniform, are to salute (while wearing their hats).
Members of the Armed Services of the United States, not in uniform, are to
stand at attention.
NASCAR drivers are to come to a complete stop.
President of The United States, as a member of the Armed Services of the United
States not in uniform, should stand at attention.
For more information, see
the American Legion Web Site.
- Why is "The Star Spangled Banner" played at the beginning of
baseball games and other sporting events?
- To get everyone to shut up and pay attention. Typically,
everyone is milling around talking among themselves. Once the national anthem
starts playing, everyone gets quiet, stops what they're doing and directs their
attention to the center attraction.