- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Online exclusive

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced today that the eight-year project to conserve the original Star-Spangled Banner is complete.

The 200-year-old flag inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words of the national anthem during the War of 1812.

“The survival of this flag for nearly 200 years is a visible testimony to the strength and perseverance of this nation, and we hope that it will inspire many more generations to come,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum.

The museum also announced plans for a major architectural renovation while it builds a new gallery for the flag.

The museum will be closed from Sept. 4, 2006, until summer 2008 while the renovations are taking place.

Visitors to the new flag gallery will see the Star-Spangled Banner in a new setting with large glass windows designed to evoke the “dawn’s early light” in which Francis Scott Key saw the flag, still flying above Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor in 1814.

The flag will be displayed according to the U.S. flag code and have constant temperature and environmental conditions. The display angle will be less than 10 degrees.

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