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The U.S. national anthem

Learn how the Star-Spangled Banner became America's national anthem.

The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States.

To celebrate their victory over British forces during the War of 1812, U.S. soldiers raised a large American flag at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 14, 1814.

Poet Francis Scott Key was inspired by seeing the flag after witnessing the fort’s bombardment. He wrote a poem called "Defence of Fort M'Henry." This eventually became the Star-Spangled Banner and the United States national anthem.

See the lyrics and learn more about the Star-Spangled Banner.

LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023


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