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7,000 Students Create Largest Living American Flag

Students in Maryland created a living American flag at Fort McHenry in honor of the national anthem's 200th birthday.
Posted at 4:04 PM, Sep 10, 2014

Almost 7,000 Maryland students created the largest living American flag Tuesday.

Pretty spectacular, right? This is an aerial view of the finished flag at Maryland's Fort McHenry.

Students, and it looks like some of their parents, were given red, white and blue ponchos to wear, bringing the flag's colors to life. 

The flag was created in recognition of the 200th anniversary of writing the U.S. national anthem, otherwise known as "The Star-Spangled Banner."

According to a press release from Fort McHenry, fourth through eighth graders from 56 Maryland schools participated in the event. 

The fort's superintendent said in the release, "It was breathtaking to witness these students and their teachers become part of history of Fort McHenry while learning about two of our nation's greatest symbols of freedom and democracy — the American Flag and the National Anthem."

So why did Fort McHenry specifically want to create the largest living American flag?

If you know your U.S. history, you might remember Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

It seems like quite a few of the students who participated are really into the history of the whole thing. One was even hoping to see a re-enactment of the battle, telling The Baltimore Sun, "I thought the British were going to attack us."

Fort McHenry isn't alone in its national-anthem celebrations this week.

A six-day festival is currently taking place in Baltimore. It's complete with musical acts, fireworks and live history demonstrations.

And University of Maryland's football team is wearing special jerseys in honor of the anniversary. Lyrics from the anthem are featured on both the jerseys and the players' helmets.

Fort McHenry isn't done celebrating yet, though. It has a week of activities planned — and it's also displaying the American flag that was recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks.

This video includes images from National Park Service, Fort McHenry National Monument and Fort McHenry National Monument courtesy of Greg Pease.