What is the US National Anthem Called?

Luckily, I don’t think anyone attending their citizenship interview test has ever been asked to sing the national anthem – you just need to know it’s name – the Star Spangled Banner – a poem written in 1814 by a lawyer. I wonder what the US theme song was in the missing years? It has a range of 1.5 octaves, which makes it a tricky ditty to belt out, but I guess that’s what happens when you adopt the works of a British song designed for a gentleman’s club called the Anacreontic Society. And I think gentleman’s clubs were a little different in those days, and didn’t involve lunch specials and three dollar well drinks.

The Star Spangled Banner



Why are there fifty stars on the US Flag?

There are fifty states in the United States and a bunch of territories. The States each get a star – 50 is a nice number to represent in a symmetrical pattern. The territories would just mess things up. So the flag has stuck to 50 stars since the Kingdom of Hawaii and Alaska joined in 1959. Think of all the old flags with 48 stars, and such.

50 States, 50 stars

Note, you can stop extrapolating the flag back to the original 13 colonies to figure out what the flag used to look like. It had a circle of stars in addition to the stripes.

The original flag