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What inspired the U.S. national anthem?Answer – Attack on a fort – “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written as a poem by Francis Scott Key titled “Defence of Fort McHenry” in 1814. Later it was renamed and set to the tune of an existing song titled “To Anacreon in Heaven.” Francis was a first-hand witness to the British attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and was inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over the fort after the dust had settled. Now a National Monument and Historic Shrine, visitors can learn about how Fort McHenry successfully defended Baltimore and tour an authentic early American fort. While it has become tradition to fly a newly designed American flag over Fort McHenry before it is flown anywhere else, the actual flag that inspired Francis is no longer on-site, and is instead located not too far away at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.:
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