George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

Fort McHenry

Site of the Writing of the Star-Spangled Banner


Fort McHenry is located in Baltimore, Maryland and became the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Fort McHenry is incredibly strong. The fort withstood a 25-hour attack the British Navy during the War of 1812. On September 14, 1814, the morning after the British bombardment, the fort’s soldiers raised a gigantic American flag. The large flag flying over the fort signified America’s victory over the British.

Fort McHenry showed America’s strength and was a pivotal part of the United States gaining full independence from Great Britain. Although Fort McHenry is now a national monument, it could still be used by the military in the event of a national emergency. You can visit the fort today, and see the canons, flags and fortifications!

Fort McHenry was designated a national park in 1925.


Fort McHenry was used by the US in both World Wars.


Fort McHenry served as a military prison during the Civil War.


The U.S. flag that flew over Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814 had 15 stars and 15 stripes.


The original flag from Fort McHenry is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.