For 200th Anniversary, Star-Spangled Banner Is Unfurled in Sight of the White House
The 200th anniversary of the capture and burning of Washington by British forces during the War of 1812, "America's Second War of Independence," was marked at several spots in D.C. on Sunday, Aug. 24.
Perhaps, one of the more poignant activities of the day was the flag lesson by the National Park Service at the White House Ellipse. With the south lawn and White House in the background, visitors and ordinary citizens got to learn about the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner, as they held and unfolded and re-folded a full-sized replica of the 30-foot by 42-foot U.S. flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what became our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Dressed as Key, park ranger Vincent Vaise of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine explained the meaning of the flag and the importance of the War of 1812 in America's growth to greatness.
Some persons walking by the huge flag stopped to hear the talk by Vaise and wound up helping to hold the flag. It was an unexpected history and civics lesson for several. The White House was burned by British troops 200 years ago to the day on Aug. 24.
Meanwhile, in Georgetown, it was Dolley Day at Dumbarton House, to where first lady Dolley Madison fled from the White House on Aug. 24, 1814. Children and parents enjoyed old-time games, crafts as well as Dolley cake and ice cream, which Mrs. Madison popularized.