Coast Guard Sets Francis Scott Key Buoy to Commemorate Birthplace of National Anthem

U.S. Coast Guard members patrol the Patapsco River in Baltimore.
U.S. Coast Guard members patrol the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday set the Francis Scott Key memorial buoy on the Patapsco River for the 40th year, marking the approximate location where the Marylander wrote the national anthem.

Key, a lawyer, came up with the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814 while being detained on a British ship during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The buoy, which features stars and stripes, sits between the Francis Scott Key Bridge and Fort McHenry. It is set every summer and removed just before the winter.

"Our crew is proud to carry on this annual Coast Guard tradition in commissioning the Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy,” Lt. Justin Strassfield, commanding officer of the James Rankin, said in a news release. “The operation allows us to reflect on the distinctly American spirit of resiliency.”

This article is written by Daniel Oyefusi from The Baltimore Sun and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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