Smithsonian Celebrates Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial

Aloe Blacc, Renée Fleming, Angie Johnson and Brian McKnight Support Celebration of Flag's 200th Anniversary

May 06, 2014, 13:33 ET from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Notable celebrities are supporting the National Museum of American History in celebrating the Star-Spangled Banner's bicentennial. Artists such as Aloe Blacc, Renée Fleming, Warren Haynes, Angie Johnson and Brian McKnight are encouraging Americans to take part in the coast-to-coast celebration. "Raise it Up! Anthem for America" on Flag Day, June 14, is a national sing-a-long for people to come together and sing at 4 p.m. EDT. Details at

The National Park Service, Little League International, Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Chorus America are among more than 50 partners bringing national audiences together. Select Macy's flagship stores in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. will host anthem tributes showcasing "Raise it Up!" in store windows, social media and special events.

"Two hundred years ago, Francis Scott Key, inspired by the sight of the flag's 'broad stripes and bright stars,' wrote a song that gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which Americans have invested the flag with their own meaning and memories," said John Gray, director of the museum.

Washington, D.C. Flag Day Concert June 14:

  • At the museum' Mall entrance, a celebrity singer joins as Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre conducts 500-person choir in performance of "America the Beautiful;" MacArthur 'genius' Fellow Francisco J. Núñez conducts "Lift Every Voice," Commander and conductor; Col. Larry Lang directs The U.S. Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants.

Special Displays

  • June 14July 6, the Maryland Historical Society is loaning Key's original manuscript, uniting it for the first time with the actual flag he saw at "dawn's early light."
  • June 14 – Gown worn by award-winning opera singer Renée Fleming in 2014 when she sang the anthem at the Super Bowl.


  • The Smithsonian Channel and the museum are collaborating on "A Star-Spangled Story: Battle for America," which premieres June 14 at 9 p.m. EDT.

Website and Outreach

  • features an interactive 200-year timeline with traditional renditions of the anthem provided by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and contemporary performances and interviews with various artists.
  • National Public Service Announcements will run during "Litton's Weekend Adventure," airing Saturday mornings on ABC.

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SOURCE Smithsonian's National Museum of American History