It's a grand old flag. A high-flying flag. A symbol of freedom, unity and country. And Tuesday -- Flag Day -- after waving to the crowds all year long, it will get a nod back. Flag Day events are taking place around the area this weekend and on Tuesday. Here are a few of the happenings:
The 26th National Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance is 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Flag Day at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine at the east end of Fort Avenue. The National Flag Day Foundation sponsors the event, which encourages citizens across the country to recite the pledge at 7 p.m. Visitors to Fort McHenry will recite the pledge and then enjoy a program of patriotic music and fireworks. There will also be speeches on the meaning of Flag Day, a flyover and a parade of state flags. Admission is free. Call 410-962-4290.
The Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum, 844 E. Pratt St., is a most appropriate place to celebrate Flag Day. So stop by Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and watch militia drills, fencing and swordsmanship, learn about the militia's role in Baltimore in 1814, enjoy a 19th-century tea and more. The Star-Spangled Banner Singing Contest is at 1 p.m. Local singers are invited to register and participate. Contestants will sing any one of the four verses of the national anthem without accompaniment before a panel of judges. Prizes will be awarded. The winner will be invited to sing the national anthem at the Defender's Day celebration at Fort McHenry on Sept. 10. Admission to the museum is $6; $5 for seniors; $4 for ages 18 and younger, students and military. Call 410-837-1793 or visit www.flaghouse.org.
On the front lawn of Pickersgill Retirement Community, 615 Chestnut Ave., Towson, a Patriotic Flag Day Celebration will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday with a parade featuring the Monumental City Ancient Fife & Drum Corps and re-enactors from the War of 1812 Fort McHenry Guard. Afterward, a ceremony that is to include speakers Col. H. Russell Wright Jr. of the Maryland National Guard and his son, Marine Capt. Alexander Wright, will take place. Also planned are a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the national anthem, presentation of colors by the Maryland State Police Color Guard, a concert of Colonial tunes and patriotic songs by the Harbor City Chorus and the Fife & Drum Corps, an honoring of the 28 Pickersgill residents who are World War II veterans, a flag exhibit and more. The event runs until 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. Free. Call 410-825-7423.
Visit the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and create artwork inspired by the American flag. Participants of all ages will use a variety of materials to create a patriotic work of art to take home. Admission is $10; $6 for senior citizens and students; free for ages 4 and younger. Call 410-727-4808 or visit www.the bmi.org.
Ocean City's Flag Day Ceremony is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at North Division Street and the Boardwalk. A Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance ceremony will recognize veterans. Free. Call 800-OC-OCEAN, or visit www.ococean.com.
Watch a flag-raising, hear patriotic music and have refreshments at the Flag Day Ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at North East Community Park, Flag Pole at Gilbert Lighthouse Pavilion, Walnut Street, North East. Free. Call 410-287- 5801 or visit www.northeast chamber.org.
For more family events, see Page 36.