National Anthem History

On the morning the September 14, 1814, the sun rose to disclose a surprising vision to Francis Scott Key.

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Just a month after ~ the brother had burned the White House throughout the elevation of the battle of 1812, vital was board a British vessel negotiating the relax of a friend who was being held prisoner. Throughout Key’s time board the vessel, the brothers commenced an strike on ft McHenry and also the pair to be not enabled to leave. So crucial and his girlfriend watched native the ship together the british bombarded ft McHenry.


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After a day and a lengthy night in which key thought for particular that the American fort was doomed, he was shocked once the beforehand morning light revealed that the American flag was still there. Still aboard the british vessel, vital began come pen the words that would certainly later become the American national anthem.

Some time later, Key’s brother-in-law combine the poem with the track of the English drinking tune “To Anacreon in Heaven” by man Stafford Smith and began distributing the song as “Defence of fort M’Henry.” Eventually, the track was released in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper and also soon after ~ spread throughout the country as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It to be played at official events throughout the nation, officially ending up being the nationwide anthem in 1931.

National Anthem Lyrics

While key penned three much more verses in addition to the well-known very first verse, these room the just words that many Americans know:

O say, have the right to you see, by the dawn’s early light,What so proudly we hail’d in ~ the twilight’s last gleaming?Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,Gave evidence thro’ the night the our flag to be still there.O say, does the star-spangled banner yet waveO’er the soil of the totally free and the home of the brave?

What go the national Anthem Mean?

This is the very first verse the the “Star-Spangled Banner.” break it under line-by-line reveals some words and also phrases that, in spite of being sung therefore often, may not make sense to most people.


“O say, deserve to you see, through the dawn’s early on light,What for this reason proudly us hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?”

dawn: early on morning, just as the sun begins to risehail’d (hailed): to respect something (in this instance the flag)gleaming: a gleam is a flash of light, most likely referring come the last bits of light hitting the flag together the sunlight settwilight: the last little bit of irradiate from the sun fading as it sets

These currently ask listener if they can see the American flag waving over fort McHenry as the sun begins to rise. The flag is a symbol of exactly how the Americans held the fort versus all odds, therefore if the flag hadn’t been there, vital would have known the ft was defeated. Key held top top the flag together a symbol of hope as he watched from the brothers vessel, catching sight the it as the sun set, twelve hours after the british bombardment began.


“Whose wide stripes and also bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,O’er the ramparts us watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?”

broad: wide, introduce to the stripes that run across the American flagperilous: dangerousramparts: the embankments the were part of the fort’s defensegallantly: in a heroic or brave mannerstreaming: this defines the flag waving in the windO’er (over): above

This bit defines the American flag paris throughout the battle.


“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,Gave evidence thro’ the night that our flag to be still there.”

There aren’t the many complicated words in this part, where an essential describes exactly how the brother bombs sometimes lit up the American flag the was paris throughout the night.

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“O say, does that star-spangled banner yet waveO’er the floor of the free and the residence of the brave?”

spangled: decoratedbanner: a lengthy strip of cloth or file (in this case, a flag)

In this last verse, crucial asks one last time if the flag is tho there, waving end a nation born from change and still fighting to keep its hard-won freedom.