The following may be read by the Cubmaster or by several Webelos Scouts (they learn about the
anthem for their Citizen Activity Badge):
How many times have you heard the “Star-Spangled Banner” sung at the opening of a ball game?
We stand, sing along mumbling, or listen to the featured singer. Then we applaud at the end,
take our seats and look forward to the game without another thought about the song.
But, have you ever really thought about the history and words behind the “Star-Spangled
banner”? The song actually started out as a poem by Francis Scott Key. He wrote that poem
during the battle for Fort McHenry at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812.
He was being held prisoner at the time, on a British warship.
When Key wrote this poem, he did not know how the battle would end. He was not sure that his
country would survive the war. He did know that the flag flying over the fort would be the
symbol of his country’s continued survival.
When he wrote about the “rocket’s red glare,” he was struggling to see through the dark to see
which flag was flying over the fort. It was dawn’s early light that finally showed him, his
beloved country survived to fight another day.
Would you please rise and join me (us) in singing our National Anthem?