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S.Res. 550 (113th): A resolution commemorating the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

The text of the resolution below is as of Sep 16, 2014 (Resolution Agreed to by Senate).



2d Session

S. RES. 550


September 16, 2014

(for himself, Mr. Wicker, and Ms. Mikulski) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


Commemorating the 200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Whereas during the War of 1812, Great Britain turned its full attention to the war effort in North America following its defeat of Napoleon’s armies on the European continent in April 1814;

Whereas British forces dealt a devastating blow to the forces of the United States at the Battle of Bladensburg and were, as a consequence, able to march into Washington, D.C. unopposed and, on August 24, 1814, burn the United States Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, now known as the White House, and other government buildings;

Whereas on September 13, 1814, with the fate of the Nation uncertain, Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, withstood 25 hours of bombardment by the British Royal Navy;

Whereas on the following morning, the soldiers of Fort McHenry hoisted an enormous American flag, the sight of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem he titled The Star-Spangled Banner;

Whereas on December 24, 1814, American and British commissioners signed the Treaty of Ghent, which would be ratified the following February, bringing the War of 1812 to an end and firmly establishing the United States of America as a sovereign nation within the family of nations;

Whereas on March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed Public Law 71–823 , designating The Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem of the United States;

Whereas The Star-Spangled Banner was written to celebrate American courage at a time when the torch of liberty looked as if it were about to be extinguished;

Whereas singing the national anthem at large public gatherings, such as sporting events, brings patriotic unity to the great melting pot known as the United States of America;

Whereas our national anthem has become an enduring symbol of the land of the free and the home of the brave;

Whereas the people of the United States are celebrating the bicentennial of The Star-Spangled Banner with a variety of commemorative events nationwide during the week of September 10 through 16, 2014, including the O Say Can You See! Star-Spangled Spectacular festival in Baltimore on September 13, 2014, which included concerts and an extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor; and

Whereas it is especially important to educate young people and new citizens of the United States about the history and meaning of the national anthem: Now, therefore, be it



the Senate designates the period from September 2014 through September 2015 as the Year of National Thanksgiving for The Star-Spangled Banner ;


the Senate encourages all State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe this period of thanksgiving with appropriate ceremonies, activities, educational outreach, and reflection; and


it is the sense of the Senate that The Star-Spangled Banner shall retain all current verses and remain our national anthem in perpetuity.