Fort McHenry: Flagpole Replacement !!!

Discussion in 'Flag Books and Media' started by Robin Hickman, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    GREETINGS, My Fellow Patriots !!!

    I am NOT sure if this "News Item" should be posted here in the "Flag Books and Media" forum, or in the "National Anthem" forum.

    Anyway, if this is in the "wrong" spot, it's okay to put it where it belongs.

    Robin Hickman

    QUOTE (From The Above Link) :

    Date: June 4, 2009

    Stars and Stripes to Wave from New Flagpole!

    Star Fort to be closed June 17th for Removal of Old Flagpole

    The Star-Spangled Banner will still wave by the “Dawn’s Early Lightâ€￾ but on a new flagpole. On June 17, 2009 the existing pole, dating to 1989, will be removed. A temporary aluminum pole will insure that the flag will continue to wave for 24 hours a day at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine until the new wooden flagpole is placed within two weeks.

    The park will still be open, however visitors will not be able to enter the fort on the 17th of June. Admission will be free that day and Rangers have added a full menu of special programs including cannon-firings, flag talks, guided talks, living history and children’s programs in an underground bunker (normally kept closed)

    “Historically, Fort McHenry has gone through a lot flagpolesâ€￾ says Chief of Interpretation, Vincent Vaise, “the first known replacement was 1810, four years before the bombardment, it was struck by lightening and blown apart, nature had a better aim than the British.â€￾ The new flagpole, which will stand at 87 feet, is made of Douglas Fir. Resembling a ship’s mast, the pole is constructed in two parts for stability and to make it easier to perform maintenance. “They used to build sailing ships in Baltimoreâ€￾ says Park Ranger Scott Sheads. “If you wanted something that tall for a flagpole, you likely built it as a mast.â€￾

    The new flagpole is a blend of modern technology and Nineteenth-Century craftsmanship. Steven Wagner and Son, of Center Valley, Pennsylvania who have been making flagpoles since 1989, are busy shaving, cutting, and blending vintage iron hardware, much as their historic predecessors have done, however modern epoxy and paints will insure that the pole weathers the elements for a long time. A family business, Steven Wagner and Son, specializes in custom projects. They installed the main flag pole at the U.S. Naval Academy, the flagpole on the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, and designed and fabricated exhibits at Ellis Island in New York. “It is a great sense of pride to be doing something awesomely symbolic of our nation’s history,â€￾ said Steven Wagner.

    NPS Maintenance Chief, Wayne Boyd discovered hidden rot in the existing flagpole prompting the need for a replacement. “I was taking part in a special National Park Service maintenance training program,â€￾ says Wayne. “Part of the program was to make a careful assessment of park facilities and historic structures, that’s when I noticed that there was some rot in the center of the pole.â€￾ “Often visitors only see the Park Rangers giving tours,â€￾ says Chief of Interpretation Vaise, they don’t know that a major part of what we do is preserving the buildings and structures in a park.â€￾

  2. Thanks for telling us about that!

    Oddly enough - I travelled to Baltimore in 2006, but I didn't know about fort McHenry at the time because I was quite new in the world of vexillology. I was quite annoyed on my return when I found out about it!
    Oh well, it gives me an excuse to make a return trip to Baltimore in the future!

    It will be interesting to see what the new flagpole will look like, because the existing one is very recognisable, even without a flag on it.
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that you were SO close to it, but didn't know it! :(

    The reason why I started this thread originally had nothing to do with Fort McHenry's new Flagpole!

    No, wait! What I mean is, yes, this thread originally had (and has) to do with the new flagpole, but I ran across the information while looking for something else.

    One of my patriotic and well-intentioned (but not well-informed) friends sent me a link to a video (on YouTube) that supposedly tells the "REAL" story of the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner". References to this SAME video (or sometimes in the form of an audio file) show up in my in-box two or three times a year! :eek:

    The video doesn't even come close to getting the story "right". In fact, there are so many inaccuracies that one must draw the conclusion that it was purposefully done that way! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!! :eek:

    Anyway, I went to the Fort McHenry website because they have a pretty good version of the events that led up to the creation of the "Star-Spangled Banner". I was going to send a link to it to my ill-informed friend so that he might educate himself as to what REALLY happened !!!

    Anyway, the first thing that I saw when I got to the website was the BIG NEWS that Fort McHenry was getting a BRAND NEW FLAGPOLE !!!

    So, I posted it here!

    (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!) :D


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