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Noting its "broad stripes and bright stars," Francis Scott Key turned the Star-Spangled Banner into the principle symbol of American patriotism with his poetic account of the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. This engaging site from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History accompanies an in situ exhibit celebrating the history and legacy of the flag behind the National Anthem. As the homepage suggests, it's a good idea to begin with the War section of the site, which sets the historical stage. On this page, interested visitors will even find links to suggested resources for classroom use. Visitors can also Explore the interactive flag feature in the Interact section of the site. Through several images, complete with informational captions, it's possible to get up close and personal with this American icon.
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