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Once upon a time, a rather average American sat in the hold of a British prison ship in Baltimore harbor. The War of 1812 wasn’t going all that well for our young nation. Francis Scott Key fretted through the long night — had the English bombardment forced Fort McHenry to surrender? Had they hauled down the Stars and Stripes?

He scrawled his thoughts on a piece of paper — straining to see through the dawn’s early light.

Here is Whitney Houston proclaiming what made his heart jump with joy: The flag was still there!

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