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Photo of tourists holding the american flag on 8/31/09 in order fold and exchange for a fresh flag at fort mchenry in baltimore maryland. A park ranger directs this activity and provides a short lecture. This ritual is performed twice a day by decree of president harry s. truman. A fresh flag must always be flying over the fort. The british royal navy failed to take the fort during the war of 1812 with the united states emerging victorious on 9/14/1814 inspiring francis scott key to write the star spangled banner.