Sneak peek at the new Star-Spangled Banner gallery

A little over a month ago we shared video of the Star-Spangled Banner—the flag that inspired the national anthem—moving from the conservation lab to its new permanent home. With just a few weeks to go before the museum reopens, we’re back with a new video tour of the exhibition gallery taking shape around the flag chamber.

Please pardon our dust—and the construction noise in the background!—as project manager Jeffrey Brodie and education specialist Megan Smith take us behind the scenes into the exhibition as it is being installed. Upon entering the space, we’re taken to the time when Francis Scott Key was inspired to write his famous lyrics during the Battle of Baltimore. After viewing the state-of-the-art flag chamber, we take a look at the interactive table Megan wrote about in October, which allows us to investigate key details of the flag and how it was made. Finally, we get an insider’s take on the flag as a family keepsake in the 19th century, the Smithsonian’s efforts to preserve the artifact since 1907, and how Americans have used the Star-Spangled Banner—both the flag and the song—to express diverse ideas of patriotism and national identity.

Dana Allen-Greil is the museum’s new media project manager. She thinks our new media intern, Anna Bethel, did a fabulous job producing this video piece to share with you.