Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner Invites Americans to Display Their Patriotism with a #StarSpangledSelfie

Maryland kicks off Star-Spangled Summer with a photo contest


Connie Yingling,
Leslie Cox,


BALTIMORE, MD (June 11, 2014) – To celebrate Maryland’s Star-Spangled Summer, during which multiple events will be held throughout the state to mark the 200th Anniversary of the writing of the National Anthem, the Maryland Office of Tourism is launching the Star-Spangled Selfie contest. Users are invited to pose for selfies in select locations and post them to social media channels using the hashtag #starspangledselfie for multiple chances to win prizes including VIP treatment during the Star-Spangled Spectacular Blue Angels Air Show.

For prize eligibility, participants must pose for their selfies:

  •     In front of an American flag;
  •     At a War of 1812 icon such as Fort McHenry or other sites along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, or;
  •     With one of the Star-Spangled advertisements recently unveiled at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Selfies posted to Twitter, Instagram or the Maryland Office of Tourism’s Facebook page with the #starspangledselfie hashtag will be entered to win prizes awarded on or about the 16th of each month. Full contest details and updates throughout the campaign, which runs from June 10 to September 14, are available at     

“Maryland is excited to welcome all Americans to join in a virtual display of pride in our iconic National Anthem and flag,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “While the anthem was written here, it belongs to us all. I personally invite everyone to join me in sharing their #starspangledselfies this summer.”

The Star-Spangled Banner, originally penned by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in 1814, is the most popular piece of patriotic American music ever written. Governor O’Malley, along with the state’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and its non-profit affiliate Star-Spangled 200, partnered with organizations statewide to stage a series of festivals stretching from Baltimore to historic waterfront communities along the Chesapeake Bay, all of which played a role in the successful American defense in 1814.

The culmination of a multi-year campaign of events designed to honor the bicentennial, Star-Spangled Summer 2014 will kick off at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History with the uniting of the original, hand-written manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s poem with the actual Star-Spangled Banner that inspired it. The manuscript will be on loan June 14 – July 6 from the Maryland Historical Society, where it will return on July 7.


About Maryland Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Visitors to the state spent more than $14.9 billion on travel-related expenses in 2012. During 2012, the Maryland tourism industry also generated $2 billion in state and local taxes, and provided more than 135,000 jobs for Maryland residents.