Rockville Patch recently received two questions about the courthouse from readers. Barb Bauman, who, as superintendent of the Multi-Service Centers division of the Department of General Services, oversees facilities operations and maintenance of the state District Courts, provided the answers.
In honor of Flag Day, the first question came via Rockville Patch’s Facebook page. Richard Zaremba asks: “What is up with the US flag in front of the new District Court house in Rockville? It only has about 16 stars.”
Actually, it has 15 stars and 15 stripes, Bauman said.
“We’re flying the flag that commemorates the War of 1812 [as] part of a directive by the governor’s office,” she said.
One of the executive order’s “whereases”—if you’ve read an executive order or heard the Rockville City Council read a proclamation, you know these things have a lot of “whereases”—reads:
“Maryland’s unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation include the pivotal clash than ensured American victory, an iconic flag, and our national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner.”
State buildings will use the modern 50-star, 13-stripe American flags until they must be replaced due to wear, Bauman said. When replaced, state buildings are to use the 15-star, 15-stripe flag as part of the state’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration.
Because the District Courthouse opened in August, after the decree, the War of 1812-era flag has flown over the building since day one, Bauman said.
Francis Scott Key wrote the words that would become the national anthem when he saw the 15-star, 15-stripe flag sewn by Mary Pickersgill still flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore after two days of bombardment by the British Navy in September, 1814.
On Thursday, pieces of the historic banner were to be sewn into Maryland’s patch on the National 9/11 Flag. It will become part of the restoration of the tattered 30-foot flag that flew over Ground Zero in the days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Maryland’s three-year War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration kicked off Wednesday with the Star-Spangled Sailabration in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The parade of tall ships continues through Tuesday.
Tomorrow: A Rockville Patch reader asks “Who left the lights on at the courthouse?”
Wonder “what’s up with” something around town? Email email@example.com and we’ll try to get an answer for you.