This is part of a sponsored post written on behalf of Macy’s.
This year our nation will celebrate the Star Spangled Banner’s 200th anniversary on September 14. In anticipation of our National Anthem’s anniversary, bicentennial celebrations kicked off in Washington, D.C. this weekend where Flag Day events included Raise It Up! Anthem for America Concert hosted by the National Museum of American History, a coast-to-coast Flag Day national sing-a-long, anthem tributes sung at over 800 Macy’s stores nationwide to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.
“Two hundred years ago, Francis Scott Key, inspired by the sight of the flag’s ‘broad stripes and bright stars,’ wrote a song that gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which Americans have invested the flag with their own meaning and memories,” said John Gray, director of the National Museum of American History.
Bill Schermerhorn, Vice President and Creative Director at Macy’s, felt it was important to celebrate The Star-Spangled Banner, The Smithsonian, and Fort McHenry as “America’s department store.” Macy’s has been celebrating American Icons and certainly our National Anthem and the flag fits right in as a legendary symbol of our country.
From Flag Day to Independence Day and beyond to Sunday, September 14 when the 200th birthday of our National Anthem will be celebrated, there are many ways you can honor The Star-Spangled Banner this summer.
11 ways to celebrate 200 years of the Star Spangled Banner
- Did you know the Star-Spangled Banner has 4 verses? Get to know the rest of the verses here.
- Take in the same view Francis Scott Key had on Fort McHenry that inspired him to write the Star-Spangled Banner via live views from the KeyCam.
- Learn about the life of Francis Scott Key and scroll through key events to learn about his childhood & youth, live as slavery & slaveholder, his professional career, religious beliefs, and being a father.
- Learn the story of the flag, our national anthem, and other American Icons on StarSpangled200.org, the official website of the Maryland Ware of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
- Use the interactive 200-year timeline to hear features traditional renditions of the anthem provided by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and contemporary performances and interviews with various artists.
- Explore an interactive version of the flag to discover stories about its creation, history, and preservation.
- East Coast residents who want to join in on the Star-Spangled Spectacular are invited to a free festival in Baltimore where 7 days of events begin on September 10, 2014. Check the schedule of events for tall ships, Navy gray hulls, Blue Angels fly overs, and a lineup of events on September 13 that conclude in a patriotic concert and fireworks over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore Harbor.
- Coming to DC this summer? Between June 14 and July 6, Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript of the “Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics will be on loan to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History from the Maryland Historical Society as part of a special display. The manuscript will be on display with the flag that Key first at the “dawn’s early light” and inspired the lyrics.
- Find a celebration in your community on the Smithsonian’s party map to celebrate the flag all summer long. Examples of celebrations include an old-fashioned town concert hosted by Sumner, Washington, the “rhubarb pie capital.” The James Monroe Museum’s in Fredericksburg, Virginia, presentation of a kazoo version of the anthem and a flag collection showcased by Edmond Historical Society and Museum in Oklahoma.
- Host your own party featuring delicious, star-spangled snacks and have the Raise It Up! Anthem for America concert from the National Museum of American History playing in the background. To view more videos of the singing of the National Anthem, visit the special Flag Day YouTube page that the museum has set up.
- Download Tony Award winner Idina Menzel’s exclusive recording of “The Star Spangled Banner,” for the 38th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks score from June 14-July 5 from macys.com/fireworks.
No matter how you celebrate with our flag and National Anthem this summer, share your photos with the hashtag #RaiseItUp #StarSpangled200. If you happen to visit one of the Macy’s stores in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, or Chicago, also be sure to tag your photos with #RaiseItUpAtMacys.