• Living Flag

    Fort McHenry

    National Monument and Historic Shrine Maryland

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Special Operating Hours during the Star-Spangled Spectacular: September 6-16, 2014

    The park will have special operating hours during the Star-Spangled Spectacular: September 6-16, 2014. Please visit this link for more information: More »

  • Road Closures and Mass Transit options during the Star-Spangled Spectacular: September 6-16, 2014

    There will be road closures during the Star-Spangled Spectacular: September 6-16, 2014. Mass transit will be required & all visitors will pass through a security checkpoint prior to entering Fort McHenry. Please visit this link for more information: More »

Group Arrangements


You can make a group reservation request by telephone, fax or e-mail. Call the Group Reservations Office at 410-962-4290, ext. 243. Please leave a detailed message to include your desired date, time of arrival, approximate size of the group, ranger programs desired and your name, organization, address and phone number. Someone will return your call within 48-72 hours. You may also fax your request to 410-962-2500, ATTN: Group Reservations, giving the same information as stated above. You are welcome to place a group reservations request by e-mail: Group Arrangements. Please provide details as mentioned above. Someone will reply within 48-72 hours.

Please submit your request no less than three weeks and up to six months in advance to insure openings for your group.


Daily Flag Change: This is open to all groups. This 15-minute program provides information on the variety of flags used at Fort McHenry and their historic significance. This program is offered daily at 9:30 A.M. and 4:20 P.M., weather permitting.

For Grades K-2: You may schedule the following 30-minute ranger activity at 11:00 A.M. or 2:00 P.M., September through May.

Life of the Soldier: Students may explore the contents of a soldier's haversack, study replica soldier's uniforms, and learn about the life of the War of 1812 soldier. (Groups of 40 or fewer)

For Grades 3 and above: You may schedule one of the following 30-minute ranger activities that are offered as follows:

The Flag Program: A Star-Spangled Banner replica flag will be unrolled and discussed, weather permitting (Groups of 100 or fewer). This program is offered at 10:00 A.M., 10:30 A.M., 11:00 A.M., 1:30 P.M., 2:00 P.M. or 3:00 P.M., September through May.

Artillery Program: A discussion of the procedure for loading and dry firing an 1812 cannon, weather permitting. Students will act as members of the artillery crew (Groups of 50 or fewer). This program is offered at 11:00 A.M. or 2:00 P.M., September, October, April and May.

For Grades 6 and above; and adult groups: In addition to the other programs, you may schedule one of the following 20 minute interpretive programs that are offered at 11:00 A.M. or 2:00 P.M., September through May.

The Battle of Baltimore: The attack on Fort McHenry was but one aspect of the Battle of Baltimore. Learn about other phases of the battle and the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key did not see.

Bastion of Liberty or Symbol of Despotism?: Fort McHenry played a significant role during the Civil War in securing the "loyalty" of Maryland for the Northern cause. Hear why and how the Fort was used by the Union Army in a heavily pro-Southern area.

Fort McHenry Through the Ages: There was a military presence at this site from the American Revolution through World War II. Explore the uses of the Fort throughout its history.


When your group arrives at Fort McHenry, please make sure your group leader has an accurate confirmation, a list of safety rules for the park, payment (A GROUP ARRIVING WITHOUT AN APPROVED WAIVER OF FEES WILL BE CHARGED THE $7.00 PER ADULT ENTRANCE FEE) and at least one adult chaperone for every ten children.


When your group arrives at Fort McHenry, please have them remain on the bus or outside the Visitor Center while the group leader checks in. The group leader should have a confirmation and payment to present to the ranger at the Visitor Center desk. Program information will also be provided at this time. The Visitor Center is the park headquarters as well as a museum. Please have the group remain quiet so that others may enjoy their visit.


For those groups unable to schedule a program, the Fort can be toured independently. Teachers or tour leaders will escort the group through the Fort. CHILDREN MUST BE WITH AN ADULT CHAPERONE AT ALL TIMES. Adults will be responsible for the actions of the children in their charge. Before unloading your bus, check in at the Visitor Center. Please observe all safety rules. Fort information should be studied prior to visiting. Allow 30 minutes for your self-guided tour. Throughout the fort and grounds are various wayside exhibits illustrating the history of Fort McHenry.


Prior to leaving Fort McHenry, please have your group meet in a designated place. To avoid having pedestrians cross our busy parking lot, have bus drivers load and unload in front of the Visitor Center.


Restrooms and handicapped access ramps are available. A Gift Shop, owned and operated by the Evelyn Hill Corporation, is open from 9:00 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. daily. It is located in the Visitor Center.


Did You Know?

An aerial view of the students forming the Living American Flag.

Each May, 3,500 to 4,500 school children create the "Living American Flag" at Fort McHenry. The program is sponsored by The American Flag Foundation, Inc. More...