According to family folklore, this star was ripped from the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812’s Battle of Baltimore and inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star- Spangled Banner.
The piece came with a handwritten letter — written on 100-plus-year-old Bailey Banks and Biddle stationery — attesting to its authenticity. The great garrison flag that flew over Fort McHenry was 30 feet high and 42 feet wide, with stars measuring 24 inches across.
Patriotic Artifacts From Our Beginnings
This star is only about 8 inches across, so it is not from that flag. However, our research indicates that a small storm flag also flew over the fort, and this flag’s whereabouts have long been sought after. This coincides with the above letter’s contents. The reason we “attributed” this star to the smaller but important flag is because we determined the cloth and weave to be almost identical to the larger flag.
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This is an archival article formerly written and is for informational purposes only. The valuations in this article have likely changed since it was first written.