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The Maryland Historical Society is recreating the 30x42 foot Star-Spangled Banner flag that inspired our national anthem 200 years ago

We want to recreate the Star Spangled Banner! Calling On Our Community to be a Part of History!

Photo by Timothy Ervin
Photo by Timothy Ervin

Beginning on July 4th, The Maryland Historical Society is recreating the 30 x 42 foot Star-Spangled Banner flag that inspired the writing of our national anthem. We’re calling this project “Stitching History: Recreating the Star Spangled Banner.”

Why are we doing it? The original Star Spangled Banner was made here in Baltimore. It took Mary Pickersgill 6 weeks to create it. To celebrate the 200 anniversary of our beloved Star Spangled Banner, we want recreate the flag using the same materials that Mary used, and to do so in the same timeframe.

What is the Kickstarter Campaign for Stitching History All About? Kickstarter helps fund creative projects. This is ours… a piece of American History, a work of art, created by YOU, the crowdsourced public!

If you are in the Baltimore area, you can come add your stitch to our flag during our free Public Stitching Days on August 3 and August 11.

Even if you’re not in the area, you can choose to become a backer of our Stitching History Project by reviewing the levels to your right and choosing one that inspires you. We only receive the money if we reach 100% of our goal. So please, help fund our project -- and become a part of history!

The Story Behind ‘Stitching History’

Mary Pickersgill, a local flag maker, worked with her daughter Caroline, nieces Eliza and Margaret Young, and African American indentured servant Grace Wisher to complete the flag in six weeks in the summer of 1813.  Two hundred years later, it is our goal to recreate the flag during the same time period. 

The original flag was made from English wool bunting, a loosely woven, light-weight material common in flag-making before the advent of nylon.  We have commissioned the recreation of this fabric by Family Heirloom Weavers in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. In total we ordered 110 yards of red fabric, 110 yards of white fabric, and 55 yards of blue fabric.

Beginning on July 4, we’re hosting a ‘kickoff celebration’ at Fort McHenry with drums, fifes, cannons and thousands of participants! Then, the real work begins. For six weeks between July and August, more than 100 experienced stitchers will be volunteering their time -- up to eight hours a day -- to sew the flag together.

When the flag is complete, it will go ‘on the road’ visiting special historic sites.

The finished flag will be flown at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine during Defender's Day in September, 2013. It will also be used for school programs and other public events in the Bicentennial year of the writing of the national anthem.

The Plan for the Funds

As you can see from the budget below, every single dollar contributed is needed to make this project come to life. Interest is building for our Stitching History project, and we are receiving requests from around the country to take the flag ‘on the road.’ The only way we can do this is with your support.

Kick Starter Budget

Wool Bunting Fabric

  • Red:110 yards      $3,850
  • White:110 yards    $3,850
  • Blue:55 yards        $1,925

Cotton Stars

  • White: 15 yards     $135
  • Linen Thread         $100
  • Rope                     $32
  • Iron Grommets      $50

Sewing Notions             $58

  • Needles
  • Hem Tape
  • Scissors
  • Clips

                                                                  Total: $10,000

Why Kickstarter?

We chose to launch this project on Kickstarter because are seeking out new ways of funding support. In light of tenuous government grants and other ‘old’ ways of fundraising, we know our future depends on new, virtual ways of spreading word about our projects. New venues, like Kickstarter, can make them happen. They are the future.

We hope you like our video. And that, even in a small way, it makes you feel even more proud to be an American to know that projects like this are happening right now. Our Stitching History project won’t go forward without your help. So once we reach our goal, please don’t stop supporting us.

The more we receive the more we can do, and we would like to take this project to all 50 states!

Please share this page with everyone you know, and thanks for your support!

THE REWARDS  To thank you for backing and becoming a part of our Stitching History: Recreating The Star Spangled Banner project, we are offering great rewards, including • Star Spangled Banner Pins • Handheld 15 Star-Flags • Copies of the DVD, Anthem: The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner  • Signed copies of the award-winning book In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake •  Special invitations to participate in the flag raising ceremony at Ft. McHenry on Defender’s Day, and more!

Our Tremendous Thanks for your support!

Burt Kummerow and Kristin Schenning,
President and Director of Education at
The Maryland Historical Society

Please contact us with questions: media@mdhs.org

And follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks again!

Cover image: Gerry Embleton

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We only receive the money if we reach 100% of our goal. So please, help fund our project -- and become a part of history!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    66 backers

    WEAR THE FLAG ON YOUR SLEEVE! Or over your heart. Receive a 15-star flag pin as a keepsake of our project. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! Every pledge adds up and helps!

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    18 backers

    ‘O SAY CAN YOU SEE!’ Receive a beautiful reproduction of Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner poem in cursive script on parchment paper, just like Key wrote it. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes!

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    21 backers

    THE FLAG! Just for you – an authentic 15 star, 15 stripe commemorative flag. Perfect for waving at parades, sporting events and other patriotic celebrations. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes!

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    15 backers

    A copy of "Anthem: The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner!" What inspired Francis Scott Key to write his beloved poem? Filmmaker Mark Hildebrand examines this question, using music from the 1812 era and interviews with historians from the U.S. and Great Britain. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    4 backers

    EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WAR OF 1812: Well, maybe not Everything, but at least 185 things! Receive a copy of "185 Things You Should Know About the War of 1812" and impress your friends with your knowledge of the Napoleonic era. With images, graphics and a question-and-answer section at the end. Perfect for the student of history lover in your family. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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    2 backers

    A flag of your own, to build and to love! A build-it-yourself American Flag Kit containing 15 precut stripes and 15 iron-on stars that families and classrooms can assemble together. As a special bonus, you can have your completed flags flown at Fort McHenry! PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    A SIGNED COPY OF BURT’S BOOK! In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. Winner of the 2013 Maryland Trust Preservation Award, this beautiful, 256-page book provides a clear and colorful narrative of the War of 1812. A bonus travel section gives adventurers a handy guide to exploring the tidewater world and all its fascinating history. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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    0 backers

    BOOK LOVER’S PACKAGE! Enjoy copies of "185 Things You Should Know About the War of 1812" and "In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake" and become and expert on all things 1812. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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    0 backers

    HISTORY SAMPLER! Enjoy one of each of our gifts: the flag pin, Star Spangled Manuscript, hand held flag, Build-It-Yourself-Flag Kit, "Anthem: The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner," "185 Things You Should Know About the War of 1812" and "In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812" as our thanks to you. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Yours to keep and cherish: A swatch of the recreated flag, using the same authentic red, white, and blue fabrics used to construct our Star Spangled Banner. It comes framed so that future generations will enjoy it for years to come. PLUS – Your name on the special Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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    Receive all of the gifts at the $5,000 level and a special invitation to participate in the flag raising ceremony at Ft. McHenry on Defender’s Day in September, 2013! PLUS – Your name on a special star of the Kickstarter electronic flag, which will travel everywhere the Star Spangled Banner flag goes! AND enjoy a one-year membership to The Maryland Historical Society!

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Funding period

- (31 days)