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See our EVENTS page for details about the Return of the Captives and the Tavern Dinner

In Carlisle, at Veteran's Square on Saturday September 20 at 11am...

a Garrison Flag measuring 42 feet long by 30 feet wide will be raised to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key.

During the War of 1812, Key, accompanied by the British Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant, as the guests of three British officers: Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Rear Admiral George Cockburn, and Major General Robert Ross. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, a resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland who had been arrested after putting rowdy stragglers under citizen's arrest. Skinner, Key, and Beanes were not allowed to return to their own sloop because they had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and with the British intent to attack Baltimore. As a result of this, Key was unable to do anything but watch the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of September 13–14, 1814.

At dawn, Key was able to see an American flag still waving and reported this to the prisoners below deck. On the way back to Baltimore, he was inspired to write a poem describing his experience, "Defence of Fort M'Henry", which he published in the Patriot on September 20, 1814. This poem, set to music by John Stafford Smith has become better known as “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Historic Carlisle is proud to display this flag as part of the commemorations.

Star-Spangled Banner
Full information about the Star-Spangled Banner from the Smithsonian.

During each year, Historic Carlisle arranges events ranging from the installation and dedication of new Historic Markers, through the Annual Tavern Dinner, the Carlisle Summerfair Historic Walking Tours, and major events such as the presentation of "Jefferson and Adams", a performance by the noted Williamsburg troupe which was held in the Carlisle Theatre, and which was provided at no charge to a wildly enthusiastic audience!

In between times, there is of course a plethora of social events for members!


Historic Carlisle, Inc. is a non-profit corporation.
Its mission is to recognize and promote the history of Carlisle and Cumberland County.
The mission is accomplished through annual presentations and celebrations, educational programs,
the Carlisle Civil War Building Plaque Program, and the installation of Wayside Markers.

Historic Carlisle Inc. P.O. Box 1211 Carlisle, PA 17013-1211

Some photographs courtesy of and Copyright of Judith E. Shunk
E-mail: webmaster@historiccarlisle.com
Webmaster: Alan Duxbury

Copyright © 2013 by Alan Duxbury