National Anthem

Sing The National Anthem

During the 19th century, “The Star-Spangled Banner” became one of the nation’s best-loved patriotic songs. It gained special significance during the Civil War, a time when many Americans turned to music to express their feelings for the flag and the ideals and values it represented. By the 1890s, the military had adopted the song for ceremonial purposes, requiring it to be played at the raising and lowering of the colors. Despite its widespread popularity, “The Star-Spangled Banner” did not become the National Anthem until 1931.

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When did “The Star-Spangled Banner” officially become the United States’s national anthem?

  • 1931
  • 1917
  • 1814


How to Use This Resource in Your Classroom

  • Armed Forces Instrumental Arrangement

    Armed Forces Instrumental Arrangement

    During World War I the War department established a standard arrangement to be used by U.S. military bands. Although this arrangement is often used in nonmilitary performances, there is no single official version of the anthem designated for civilian use. Courtesy Maryland Historical Society.

  • Soprano Francis Alda, 1917

    Soprano Francis Alda, 1917

    By the early 1900s the Star-Spangled Banner was a fixture at public ceremonies and celebrations. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

  • A Military Anthem

    A Military Anthem

    The first official step toward making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the national anthem was taken in 1889 when the Secretary of the Navy ordered it played at morning flag-raising ceremonies. By 1917 both the Army and the Navy considered the tune to be the national anthem for ceremonial purposes.

  • The Official National Anthem

    The Official National Anthem

    In 1931, due largely to the efforts of Mrs. Reuben Ross Holloway, president of the Maryland State Society, United States Daughters of 1812, and Congressman J. Charles Linthicum of Baltimore, Congress made “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States.

Armed Forces Instrumental Arrangement Soprano Francis Alda, 1917 A Military Anthem The Official National Anthem