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National Museum of American History Hosts “Raise It Up! Anthem for America” on Flag Day

Concert, Special Displays, Performances and Chocolate Demonstrations Will Commemorate the Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner by inviting visitors to “Raise It Up!” and join in the “Anthem for America” concert on the National Mall on Flag Day, June 14, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. EDT.

The free event will feature a number of performances, including a special appearance by country singer-songwriter Carlene Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash and Carl Smith and scion of the Carter family. Remarks and reflections by Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, the governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley and Maryland Historical Society President Burt Kummerow will lead to the culminating moment at 4 p.m. EDT when participants on the Mall will share in a moment of national unity by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Across the country, organizations, associations, cities, museums and individuals are participating in their own local celebrations. The concert will be streamed live on ESPN3 and YouTube and will be webcast at  

Schedule of Flag Day, June 14, Events

Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps Performances
10 a.m. and noon
Constitution Avenue entrance

The Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps will perform songs from the War of 1812 in historical dress.

Bean to Beverage: American Heritage Chocolate Demonstrations
10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Third floor, west wing

Visitors can explore the history of one of America’s favorite foods—chocolate. Using authentic colonial tools, Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors will demonstrate how drinking chocolate was made. Samples of American Heritage Chocolate will be available.

Docent Tour
1 p.m. (Note: Tours subject to availability)
Welcome Desk, second floor

Docents will give tours of the museum’s most popular exhibits and displays.

Anthem for America Concert
2:30–4 p.m.
National Mall  

    Performers in order of appearance:

  • The U.S. Air Force Band conducted by Col. Larry Lang
  • 400-person choir conducted by Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre and MacArthur ‘genius’ Fellow Francisco J. Núñez
  • Smithsonian Folkways’ Little Bit A Blues Band
  • Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quintet directed by Kennith Kimery and Charlie Young
  • Country singer-songwriter Carlene Carter
  • Electric guitar phenom Kristen Capolino


The museum will also commemorate the bicentennial on Flag Day by uniting two of America’s most iconic symbols: the flag itself, on view at the museum, and Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript, on loan from the Maryland Historical Society. For the first time, visitors will be able to see the two side-by-side in the banner’s environmentally controlled chamber. Also on display for a short time will be Grammy Award-winning opera singer Renee Fleming’s Vera Wang gown worn when she sang the national anthem during the 2014 Super Bowl. Both displays will be on view until July 6.

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It is currently renovating its west exhibition wing, developing galleries on business, democracy and culture. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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