Fort McHenry, Baltimore Harbour, Maryland

Photograph by

Alex Ingram

About this image

The Star Spangled Banner, or the Great Garrison Flag, flew over that location during the naval battle with the English from 1812. On seeing the flag still there as the smoke lifted inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem which later became the USA National Anthem. There is an interesting twist though, the tune is 'To Anacreon in Heaven', a somewhat bawdy drinking song the music of which was by Englishman John Stafford Smith for a London gentlemens club. Perhaps appropriate that my picture at Fort McHenry has a barrel in the foreground ! The original flag 30x34 feet made of English wool is now displayed at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC, which I also visited.