Tom McMillan

Our Flag Was Still There: The story of the original Star-Spangled Banner

Learn about the improbable two-hundred year journey of the original Star-Spangled Banner—from Fort McHenry in 1814, when Francis Scott Key first saw it, to the Smithsonian today—and the enduring military family who defended, kept hid and ultimately donated the most famous flag in American history. It exists today in part because Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead, the hero of Fort McHenry, took it home as a souvenir after the battle, in violation of U.S. Army rules! Learn why the flag has 15 stripes; why it is eight feet shorter than its original length; and why it was once locked away in a vault in New York City for 27 years. But it’s still here!

The professional recording of this session was funded by a Preserving America grant from Americana Corner.

[Recorded on 12 August 2023]

Photo of Tom McMillan

Tom McMillan spent a lifetime in sports media and communications, but his true passion is history — and “Our Flag Was Still There” is his fourth book on American history. Tom has served on the board of directors of Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center, the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, and the Antietam Institute. He also is a member of the marketing committee of the Gettysburg Foundation and, along with his wife, Colleen, is a volunteer ambassador at Antietam. He is retired after a 25-year stint as VP of Communications for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

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