Judge Anna von Reitz
The naval bombardment of Fort McHenry near Baltimore was one of the most fierce naval bombardments in modern world history, if not “the” most ferocious. The bulk of the entire British invasion fleet was centered on Fort McHenry for the simple reason that if they could make the Fort “strike colors” they could use it and the harbor of Baltimore as a center for invasion of the rest of the states.
This profound strategic importance and the terrible might and ferocity of the bombardment which inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words of “The Star Spangled Banner” are not reflected in the verbiage of such sources as Wikipedia:
Fort McHenry is a historical American coastal pentagonal bastion fort located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy from the Chesapeake Bay on September 13–14, 1814.
It was first built in 1798 and was used continuously by the U.S. armed forces through World War I and by the Coast Guard in World War II. It was designated a national park in 1925, and in 1939 was redesignated a “National Monument and Historic Shrine”.
Oh, ho-hum, right?
Well, here’s the real story: if the fort could be forced to lower its flag and surrender, the British invasion fleet could sail into Baltimore Harbor unopposed. It could claim that the Americans surrendered to them, wholesale, and they could then debark from their ships, form their ranks, and split the States in half, severing communications between New England and the South, and controlling the middle section of states— Maryland, Delaware, New York, Virginia, and to whatever extent they could penetrate inland — Pennsylvania.
The war, as they bragged in Piccadilly, would be over by morning.
Except that the Fort did not strike colors.
In the middle of the night, the flag staff was hit by a cannonball and careened dangerously down at a crazy angle, held in place by a thread.
Those trapped in the Fort came forward, men and women, young and old, and with their bare-hands held the flag pole erect enough so that the British could see it was still flying.
In the morning, the American flag was still flying, propped up by the great pile of the dead bodies of the defenders of Fort McHenry, who stayed their post during the night, and one by one died to keep our flag aloft and our shores protected from British invasion.
They curled their dying bodies around the flagpole to keep it aloft.
Think about it, America.
Think about the Americans who died at Fort McHenry to save you and yours from the onslaughts of these vermin, and why we owe it to them to rise up and do our part to rescue and save this once-great country from the insidious guile of a different kind of invasion—an invasion by fraud, deceit, and betrayal of trust, carried out by men in nice suits.