the national flag of the U.S., consisting of 13 horizontal stripes that are alternately red and white, representing the original states, and of a blue field containing 50 white stars, representing the present states.
Also called Old Glory, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Star-Spangled Banner, The
(italics) the national anthem of the United States of America, based on a poem written by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814, and set by him to the melody of the English song To Anacreon in Heaven: officially adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1931.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for the star-spangled banner
the Stars and Stripes (functioning as singular) the national flag of the United States of America, consisting of 50 white stars representing the present states on a blue field and seven red and six white horizontal stripes representing the original statesAlso known as: the Star-Spangled Banner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for the star-spangled banner
"American flag," attested from 1782. Stars and Bars as a name for the Confederate flag is attested from 1863. Star-spangled is attested from 1590s; Star-Spangled Banner "United States flag" is 1814, from Francis Scott Key's poem (printed in the "Baltimore Patriot" Sept. 20).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
the star-spangled banner in Culture
“The Star-Spangled Banner”
The National Anthem of the United States. Francis Scott Key wrote the words during the War of 1812, when he saw the flag of the United States still flying over Fort McHenry, Maryland, after a night of attack by British troops. The tune is from a British popular song of the day. The first stanza is:
Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The national flag of the United States. Its fifty stars represent the fifty states; its thirteen stripes represent the thirteen colonies that became the original states.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.