Smithsonian celebrates 200th anniversary of the national anthem - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Smithsonian celebrates 200th anniversary of the national anthem

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Curators at the Smithsonian put the original manuscript of the 'Star-Spangled Banner' on display. (Source: Smithsonian/CNN) Curators at the Smithsonian put the original manuscript of the 'Star-Spangled Banner' on display. (Source: Smithsonian/CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - It's a very special Flag Day this June 14. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the creation of the song that would go on to become our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

To celebrate and for the first time ever, the original Francis Scott Key manuscript has been reunited with the very flag from the War of 1812 whose 15 broad strips and 15 bright stars inspired Key to write those iconic lyrics.

The iconic duo seen and heard everywhere but nowhere before have the originals together been seen together.

"These words that you sing and that you put hand over heart and sing out at ballgame or sporting event is actually about this object, so we hope we inspire that 'aha' moment," said Jennifer Jones, Curator at National Museum of American History as part of the Smithsonian Institution.

And there are a few surprise aha moments, like seeing Francis Scott Key's simple edits. One small quill and ink scratch, one large rewrite that forever changed the lyrics we know.

The melody was loosely based on the song, To Anacreon in Heaven which is a pub song.

Jones said it was a popular drinking song and so he had the tune in his ear.

The song is also three stanzas longer and a bit clunkier than the one we sing.

"They are actually quite hard, they get a little wordy and are not as eloquent in their rhyming and the way they sound together," Jones said.

The Smithsonian expects hundreds of thousands will come to see the pair on display through the 4th of July.

"It just reminds us who we are and just reminds us of all the words and all the history behind us and just the feeling of being an American," said one visitor to the museum.

Copyright 2014 Smithsonian Institution via CNN. All rights reserved.

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