Thomas E. Reichard snapped the winning photo, which shows the small storm flag being unfurled.

The only American flag to bear the title of “Star-Spangled Banner,” it features 15 stripes and 15 stars.

The flag mounts the mizzenmast flagpole, a replica of those on the famous Baltimore clippers.

2008 Best of USPS photo contest

Behind the winning photo

The winning shot in the 2008 Best of USPS photo contest pictured the unfurling of the Star-Spangled Banner during the flag-raising ceremony at District 5’s 2008 summer council meeting and rendezvous. Here’s how the moment came to pass.

In May 2008, President Bush signed a bill creating the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail to commemorate War of 1812 battle sites in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. To mark the occasion, District 5, which was holding its summer council meeting and rendezvous in Baltimore, decided to hold the traditional flag-raising ceremony at nearby Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

On 19 July, 160 D/5 members traveled from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to the fort for the ceremony, which was open to the public.

After the honor guard was posted, D/5 bridge members entered with visiting USPS dignitaries, followed by 35 D/5 squadron commanders. Then, park rangers spoke about the Star-Spangled Banner, and attendees were invited to help hoist the small storm flag.

With its 15 stripes and 15 stars, the flag was raised under a blazing sun and Columbia blue sky. During the hoisting, the silent crowd listened to Sharen Reichard, of Hampton Roads Sail & Power Squadron, sing our national anthem.