This July 4, the Maryland Historical Society is kicking off an effort to sew a reproduction of the star-spangled banner using materials as close as possible to those used by the original seamstress.
Andy Nelson / Christian Science Monitor / File
Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That’s something every US schoolchild learns. But who made the star-spangled banner itself? No, not the song – the flag that inspired lawyer and amateur poet Key to write what became the US national anthem.
The answer to that is Mary Pickersgill, a Baltimore widow and noted flag seamstress who created the giant Stars and Stripes that floated in air above Fort McHenry on Sept. 14, 1814 – “still there” the morning after a ferocious British bombardment.
Pickersgill is not exactly an unsung hero of the banner story. Her former home has been preserved as a small, charming museum in Charm City’s downtown.
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