Star-Spangled Banner Selfie

Candace Dold of Fox45 with Ranger Vince (left) & guardsman (behind) holding replica of U.S. flag at Fort McHenry in Baltimore

The “Star-Spangled Banner,” not only pulled a young country together, 200 years later it’s starting a selfie trend, #StarSpangledSelfie.

“The Star Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, was written by Francis Scott Key, a 35-year old lawyer and amateur poet, after watching Fort McHenry in Baltimore attacked by British ships in the War of 1812. Somebody combined the words to a popular British song and it took off.

Despite being difficult to sing, the tune hit a chord in the patriotic psyche of Americans and stayed popular. In 1886, the Navy decided to make it their official tune. But it wasn’t until 1931 that Congress passed a resolution making it the national anthem.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the poem’s creation, the Maryland tourism office, Visit Maryland, is collecting selfies of people with anything patriotic. They’re awarding prizes around the 16th of each month for the best entry. But it turns out, that’s just the start of the events celebrating the 200th anniversary.

Communities around the Chesapeake Bay are holding events throughout the summer and fall to mark the War of 1812. Check our calendar to find out what’s happening each weekend. The National Park Service worked with Maryland and Virginia to create a national trail marking the War of 1812’s key places both on and around the Bay.

The trail connects 13 national parks and 20 historic landmarks to Maryland and Virginia state historic sites. It includes driving routes, hiking paths and water trails. There’s even a Chesapeake Explorer app by the National Park Service to help you explore the watershed.

The creshendo of the summer’s War of 1812 events takes place September 10-16 with a six-day blow-out in Baltimore, centered around Fort McHenry, called the Star-Spangled Spectacular.

Some of the Selfies (#starspangledselfie)

Star-Spangled Selfie

From Jewpack Shalom: “This selfie isn’t just for me… it’s for America.”

Star Spangled Selfie

From Lori Russo: “So ready for Mary’s Star-Spangled Summer!”

Star Spangled Selfies

From Kuntry Strong: “These shades right here bro…”