Star Spangled Banner

This passage discusses the origins of our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.

Lexile Level: 1120L

Categories: History Art & Music


You might be surprised to hear that the United States of America did not have a national anthem until 1931. The national anthem is the song that the government chooses to represent our country. Russia, England, Germany, France, and other countries each have their own national anthem. Our national anthem is "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song was first written as a poem and then set to the tune of a popular British song called, "To Anacreon in Heaven." A thirty-five-year-old lawyer named Francis Scott Key wrote the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" after watching the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. He was inspired to write the song when he saw the American flag rise above the war-torn Fort McHenry. The song became popular, and on May 3, 1931, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was made the national anthem by Congress.


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