The Star-Spangled Banner yet waves anew

The banner's 15 bright stars are tilted -- no one seems to know just why -- and each of them is two feet wide, requiring 1,300 stitches apiece.

"We don't see it as work, we don't see it as work at all," said Mimi Dietrich, who was in charge of that challenging task. "I love the name of the project. It's 'Stitching History.' Some of us see it as that -- that we're stitching history.

Visitors to the historical society this summer were invited to pitch in with a stitch . . . eight-year-old Bridget Valkendurgh among them.

"Everybody forgot Mary Pickersgill and I want everybody to remember that she made the 'Star-Spangled Banner,' not Betsy Ross," Valkendurgh said.

The original Star-Spangled Banner was raised in triumph at the end of the perilous fight . . . a battle watched o'er the ramparts by Francis Scott Key, detained aboard a British ship nearby.

Inspired by what he saw, Key wrote the song that has since become our national anthem.

And so flag and anthem came together yesterday when the replica was raised in all its glory over Baltimore's Fort McHenry . . . giving proof through many a day and night to come that our flag is still there.


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