Defining a Nation

Defining a Nation > National Symbols, Stories & Icons

The War of 1812 produced symbols and stories that became part of American popular culture and shaped people’s sense of national identity. These objects, songs, figures and images—many of which came from the Chesapeake Bay region—helped foster a sense of collective experience and provided Americans with new ways to express their patriotism.

Visitors and residents participate in a flag-folding demonstration at Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace, Maryland. At 30’ by 42’, the flag is the same dimensions as the original Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry and is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

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