DC at Night

DC at Night

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh, Say Do You See What They See?

DC's Smithsonian museums (there are 17 of them here in the city) are among America's most treasured and visited places. But the Smithsonian also publishes a series of some of the most interesting, fact-filled blogs appearing anywhere on the internet. Each Sunday, The Prices Do DC re-posts an entry about the Smithsonian, many of which appeared in 1 of the institution's blogs. Hope you enjoy and maybe we'll see you soon at the Smithsonian.

As national treasures go, it was a bargain: $405.90, paid to Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, who fashioned it from red, blue and undyed wool, plus cotton for the 15 stars, to fly at the fortress guarding the city’s harbor. 
An enormous flag, 30 by 42 feet, it was intended as a bold statement to the British warships that were certain to come. And when, in September 1814, the young United States turned back the invaders in a spectacular battle witnessed by Francis Scott Key, he put his joy into a verse published first as “Defence of Fort M’Henry” and then, set to the tune of a British drinking song, immortalized as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The flag itself, enshrined since 2008 in a special chamber at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History following a $7 million restoration—and due to be celebrated yesterday with a nationwide singalong —remains a bold statement.
 But what is it saying now, 200 years later? We asked leading painters, musicians, poets and other artists to consider that question. You might be inspired by their responses, or provoked. But their artworks give proof that the anthem and the icon are as powerful as ever, symbols of an ever-expanding diversity of ideas about what it means to be an American.
To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Smithsonian.Com, click here.

Blog Archive

Popular Posts