1) Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” on the back of an envelope. He borrowed the music from an old English drinking song called “To Anacreon In Heaven”
2) The first American flag to fly over a foreign fort was in Libya’s Fort Derne (on the shores of Tripoli).
3) Arctic explorer Robert E. Perry traveled all over the high northern latitudes with a silk American flag wrapped around his body (it was a gift from his wife). He left small pieces of the flag at each northern milestone he reached. Perry writes in “The North Pole” that by the time he reached the actual Pole, his flag was “somewhat worn and discolored”.
4) Forget “planking”: flagpole sitting was a 1930’s craze that began in Baltimore. The most infamous flagpole-sitter was “Shipwreck” Kelly, who once spent 49 days sitting on a pole. He estimated he’s spent over 20,000 hours atop flagpoles!
5) Our current American flag was designed as a class project by an 18-year old high school student named Robert Heft. He got a B-minus for his grade. When Congress approved his design, his teacher raised his grade to an A in 1958.