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The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon Hardcover – June 24, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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About the Author

Formerly a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Lonn Taylor served as historian for the Star-Spangled BannerPreservation Project. Kathleen M. Kendrick and Jeffery L. Brodie are co-curators of a new exhibition about the reinstalled Star-Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.



Kathleen M. Kendrick and Peter C. Liebhold are curators at the National Museum of American History and co-curators of the Treasures of American History exhibition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian; First edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060885629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060885625
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
American history and American myth are often inexorably intertwined, making it difficult to tell where one begins and the other takes off. Myths, after all, are meant to simplify and inspire; history to record events faithfully. The inspiring myth of peaceable Pilgrims and Indians sharing a Thanksgiving meal is maintained only by shuffling the Pequot War unceremoniously offstage. This conundrum injected an element of distrust as I picked "The Star Spangled Banner. Would it be inspiring yet inaccurate nonsense? Or brutal honesty that strips away all poetry and hope? Luckily, the book provided a balanced view of the history and stories behind the noble myths of the flag that inspired the American national anthem.

"The Star Spangled Banner" provides a wide-ranging overview of topics related to the American flag and anthem -- the War of 1812, the Battle of Baltimore, the flag's history as family keepsake, its bestowal upon the Smithsonian, and efforts to restore and display it. We get great snippets of primary materials, including James Madison's war message to Congress and Dolly Madison's (perhaps after-the fact) description of her flight from threatened Washington. The story of how Francis Scott Key came to be in Baltimore Harbor to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry is provided as well as the story of how his little poem quickly came to national attention. Along the way, preconceptions about the flag and anthem come under some scrutiny. Was the anthem based on an old English drinking song? No -- "Anacreon in Heaven" and its relationship to an English philosophical society is examined. Is the flag in question the one that flew over Fort McHenry during the bombardment?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When our children were of middle school age, we had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. After eating in the Castle, we crossed the street to visit the First Ladies' Inaugural Gowns. Entering the building we encountered this enormous flag hanging on the wall of the entry. We all were impressed and awed.

Now that we have grandchildren, I wanted them to experience some of that same feeling. Having read about the work on this flag, I naturally wanted to let the children share in my feelings toward our country's flag.

I was happy to find in the book a photo of the flag hanging in that entryway in addition to the history of the flag. I even bought an extra copy for their school for those children to experience that feeling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is so awesome to read about the history of the flag. I seen it in Washington DC and have been inspired to learn about the history of our flag. I was so amazed by it. It is so awesome to learn about our history and see it. I love the book. I wish everybody would be so interested.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great resource for flag presentations as well as a primer about the history of the US Flag. Would also make a great gift for a student.
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