The War of 1812: The Bicentennial


The War of 1812 began in June of 1812, when the United States declared war on Great Britain. This marked the first time that the United States declared war on another sovereign state. The war was a result of the lingering tensions from the American Revolutionary war and the first conflict would take place before on Lake Ontario between the two countries navies. Shortly thereafter, in July of 1812, the Unites States would invade the Great Britain held Canada, and the British would respond by capturing Fort Mackinac. Yet, the United States Navy, while numbering less than 5,000 members, would manage to escape from the British squadron and would capture the sloop Alert and the Guerriere in August of 1812. Further Naval skirmishes, and blockades occurred through the rest of 1812, but January of 1813 brought the death filled battle of Frenchtown which resulted in the massacre of all of the American survivors. This marked the turn in the war, and in March 1813 the United States began building a fleet on Lake Erie. In April and May the American’s would take Alabama, Florida, Fort York, Fort George and would repel the British from Sackets Harbor. As the war continued into 1814 and 1815, the American’s continued to repulse all of the British invasions until the Treaty of Ghent was signed, and then ratified on February 18,1815.

The importance of the war of 1812 lies not in the territory that was fought over, as neither side lost any territory in the war, but in the fact that the war would change the face of the United States Navy, it would change the relationship between Britain and the United States for the better, and it would begin to show the world that the United States of America was growing into a force to be reckoned with.

As the Star Spangled Banner flew proudly over all of the battles in the War of 1812, so it continues to fly proudly today, 200 years after the start of the war. As the country remembers the battles fought and the lives lost over the course of the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812, the flag that was there for the original battles, will be there for the reenactments, the memorials and the celebrations. It is important to remember throughout this bicentennial that our nation which stood united then, needs to stand united now in the face of a new era of war and an ever changing world economy. The Star Spangled Banner, and the historical versions are available on our website for you to show your pride, and to help you remember the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

There are also events across multiple states that include symposiums, special exhibits and reenactments. A full list of events can be found at


Information and historical facts from: and

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top