What’s It Worth? Star From Fort McHenry Flag

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According to family folklore, this star was ripped from the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore and inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. The piece came with a hand-written letter — written on 100-plus-year-old Bailey Banks and Biddle stationery — attesting to its authenticity. The great garrison flag that flew over Fort McHenry was 30 feet high and 42 feet wide, with stars measuring 24 inches across. This star is only about 8 inches across, so it is not from that flag. However our research indicates that a small storm flag also flew over the fort and this flag’s whereabouts have long been sought after. This coincides with the above letter’s contents. The reason we “attributed” this star to the smaller important flag is because we determined the cloth and weave to be almost identical to the larger flag.


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