A Havre de Grace company is producing commemorative 15-star, 15-stripe U.S. flags, replicas of the Star-Spangled Banner that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem following the all-night British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.
The U.S. made flags – which also feature the official Star-Spangled 200 bicentennial logo – are available through F. W. Haxel Flag Co. in two versions: a printed nylon flag for $20 and a limited-edition, sewn nylon flag with appliqued stars $73.50. Each flag is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Proceeds from the sale of the flags will benefit three nonprofit organizations: The American Flag Foundation, Friends of Fort McHenry and The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.
The flags are being made available in advance of the War of 1812 bicentennial. A kickoff ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the F.W. Haxel Flag Co.'s headquarters on Route 40 in Havre de Grace.
Among those attending were Harford County Executive David Craig, Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty and Cecil County Commissioners President Jim Mullin. They were joined by representatives from the three nonprofits and veterans groups to recognize the partners and to announce the formation of the Upper Bay 1812 Steering Committee.
"It's exciting to be here today at our own F.W. Haxel Flag Co.," Dougherty said, adding, "The purchase of a commemorative flag supports the bicentennial and a Maryland small business with a location in Havre de Grace."
Dougherty said the commemorative flag is being flown at City Hall
"The flag you see here is the flag Francis Scott Key saw the night of the bombardment," Craig, who also purchased a flag, said. "It is a key to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812."
The Upper Bay 1812 Steering Committee will work to educate, engage, and celebrate the area's 1812 heritage during Maryland's statewide bicentennial commemoration, Craig said.
During the war, British troops landed in both Harford and Cecil counties and burned parts of Havre de Grace in 1813. They also destroyed the Principio iron furnace near Perryville that had manufactured cannon for the U.S. Navy.
County Councilman Dion Guthrie, who also attended Tuesday's event, as did Councilman Dick Slutzky, said he purchased one of the 15-star, 15-stripe flags.
"I'll probably hang it in my man cave, so you can come over and see it any time you want," Guthrie said during Tuesday evening's county council meeting, which produced a chuckle from his colleague, Mary Ann Lisanti.