By C. J. Chase
With no territory gained or lost, America's War of 1812 would be all but forgotten but for one major consequence — “The Star Spangled Banner.” Enter the unlikely catalyst for America’s future national anthem.
Capitol after the fire
Major George Armistead, commanding officer of Fort McHenry, had commissioned an extra-large flag – 30 feet by 42 feet – to fly above the garrison. From eight miles away, the three Americans waited for news. Would the British take Baltimore like they had taken Washington? On the morning of September 14, Skinner, Key, and Beanes saw that star-spangled banner by the dawn’s early light. Inspired that the flag was still waving, Key wrote the poem that became the American national anthem.