The Bombardment of Fort McHenry
The Star Spangled Banner
Fort McHenry, 1815-1925
Fort McHenry Today
This composite photograph shows the flag of 1814, which differed in several respects from the flag of today. In 1775 the Continental Congress adopted the stripes as part of the design of the flag, and in 1777 added 13 stars. In 1794, with the admission of two new StatesVermont and Kentuckyinto the Union, two additional stars and two additional stripes were added.
The flag flying over Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814, when Key wrote the words to The Star Spangled Banner, had 15 stripes and 15 stars.
It was only in 1818 that Congress passed an Act providing that the flag should he composed of 13 stripes, representing the original 13 States, and that new stars should be added on the July 4 following the admission of additional States.
Last Updated: 20-Jun-2010