"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old Maryland lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. The poem was set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven", a popular British song.

It is played at many official state functions both inside the United States and abroad. It was officially adopted as the US anthem in 1931.

Literary commentEdit

This song is referenced in numerous Harry Turtledove timelines with a POD after 1814. It has special significance only in a few of them.

The Star-Spangled Banner in The Guns of the SouthEdit

Although neither the United States nor the Confederate States had an official national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" unofficially held this status in the former, while "Dixie" held it in the latter. At the armistice ceremony in Washington City, which ended the main theater of the Second American Revolution, a military band from each nation played the other nation's unofficial anthem.[1]

The Star-Spangled Banner in Southern VictoryEdit

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was a staple of Remembrance Day parades before the Great War. In 1915 at the New York City parade, a military band playing the anthem was conducted by John Philip Sousa.

In 1940, the anthem was played by a Confederate States military band when US President Al Smith visited Richmond.

The Star-Spangled Banner in WorldwarEdit

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was played when US Ambassador Sam Yeager was presented to the 37th Emperor Risson of the Race in his palace in Preffilo on Home.


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