Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet, from Georgetown, who wrote the lyrics to the United States' national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".
This article describes the evolution of the flag of the United States, as well as other flags used within the country, such as the flags of governmental agencies. There are also separate flags for embassies and boats.
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. The largest of these territories are Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands which are an official part of the United States. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the U.S. mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
During the American Civil War, Maryland, a slave state, was one of the border states, straddling the South and North. Because of its strategic location, bordering the capital city of Washington D.C., and the strong desire of the opposing factions within the state to sway public opinion towards their respective causes, Maryland would play an important role in the American Civil War.
The first fatalities of the war happened during the Baltimore Riot of April 1861, and the single bloodiest day of combat in American military history occurred near Sharpsburg, Maryland, at the Battle of Antietam, on 17 September 1862. Antietam, though tactically a draw, was strategically enough of a Union victory to give President Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves in the Confederacy (but not those in border states like Maryland) to be free.
American studies or American civilization is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the United States. It traditionally incorporates the study of history, literature, and critical theory, but also includes fields as diverse as law, art, the media, film, religious studies, urban studies, women's studies, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, African American studies, Chicano studies, Asian American studies, American Indian studies, foreign policy and culture of the United States, among other fields.
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag or the Great Garrison Flag was the garrison flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the naval portion of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Seeing the flag during the battle inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort McHenry", which, retitled with the flag's name of the closing lines of the first stanza and set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven", later became the national anthem of the United States.