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Stitching History: Maryland Group To Hand Sew Replica Of American Flag That Inspired National Anthem

07/03/2013 02:45 pm ET
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If the Maryland Historical Society has its way, the nation will soon have a new "Old Glory."

The group and a small army of other volunteers have teamed up to recreate the iconic Star Spangled Banner flag, planning to hand-stitch a gigantic 30-by-42-foot American flag in just six weeks, starting, appropriately, on July 4.

The ambitious timetable for the "Stitching History" project mirrors the one set by Mary Pickersgill, the Baltimore flag maker that sewed the original flag back in 1813.

A group of volunteers will meet at Fort McHenry on July Fourth to begin stitching, and they'll keep stitching, aided by more than 100 expert volunteers, until mid-August, when it's expected to be complete.

Feeling patriotic? Members of the public can sign up to help put a couple stitches in the flag during designated hours on Aug. 3 and Aug. 11.

“Sewing machines were not around until the 1850s and we know Pickersgill stitched this flag, and a smaller version of it, by hand with the help of just five or six people in about 6 weeks,” Kristen Schenning, director of education at the Maryland Historical Society, explained in a blog dedicated to the project.

Fort McHenry hoisted the original Star Spangled Banner during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, inspiring Francis Scott Key to pen a little ode that's now the national anthem.

According to NBC, the finished project will fly over Fort McHenry until 2014 when it's slated to make a Flag Day appearance, along with the original manuscript of the "Star Spangled Banner," at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

If you're not in the Baltimore area but would still like to contribute to the effort, donations can be made via a Kickstarter page dedicated to the project.

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