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CAPTAIN'S LOG: 200 Years Plus 3 Days After the Creation of the Star-Spangled Banner

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pride of Baltimore II’s crew and Captains are in post-SPECTACULAR “stand-down” mode for a couple of days. Well earned for at least the fact that all the planning for the ship for the bicentennial commemorations of the creation of the Star Spangled Banner was performed as divined, on schedule, and with ‘to be counted on’ great style…a worldwide renowned legacy spanning nearly four decades.

The Pride of Baltimore Legacy — History, Renaissance & Future


One of the very key results of the 1812 War was the sudden worldwide comprehension of a peculiar maritime prowess demonstrated by Baltimore shipyards located in Fell’s Point. This prowess for creating fast and maneuverable Baltimore Schooners used as Baltimore Privateers during the 1812 War were very irritating to the British, hence created an additional and very strong motivator for the British to come destroy the Fell’s Points shipyards. Instead leaving behind a proud and relieved citizen soldiery with their singularly successful defense of Baltimore and a long lived celebratory song that later became our nation’s anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

What also occurred as result of the Baltimore Schooner success was the creation of an American maritime icon renowned worldwide, hence copied, but banned from future construction by edict from our nation’s government. The Baltimore Schooner was just too fast and maneuverable to be permitted to exist. There would be no way to police their activities. So the remarkable Baltimore Schooner Privateers of the 1812 War disappeared.


Baltimore City rediscovered the Baltimore Schooner history in 1975 and immediately commissioned a replica to mark the modern rebuilding and revitalizing of the Inner Harbor. What was conceived to be a very beautiful and wholly evocative but stationary maritime history display turned into a “sailing ambassador” for Baltimore. The power to capture the imaginations of everyone and all that saw Pride of Baltimore was beyond all anticipation. Every year the Pride sailed further. All around our nation’s coasts as well away to foreign lands…even all the way back to the land of our past enemy of the 1812 War…now our long time friend, the United Kingdom. The worldwide awareness for the beautiful schooner provided tremendous “pride” to all of Baltimore and it turned out to many, many more. Her tragic loss in a violent squall moved many to suggest, nay, to insist that a replacement be built. And so it came to be. Now that vessel, Pride of Baltimore II, is a quarter of a century old and was the key host vessel to all the visiting vessels to the Bicentennial of the creation of our nation’s anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. The citizens of Baltimore & Maryland continue today to be represented by a faithful representation of what was originally created by their Chesapeake Bay forebears and copied by other maritime centers, The Baltimore Schooner configured as an 1812 War Baltimore Privateer. Built right in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as was the first Pride, today’s Pride has sailed around a quarter of a million nautical miles and visited more than 40 nations spanning the Northern Hemisphere from Eastern Europe to East Asia, and of course all four coasts of our United States.

Her physical strength, her condition, her crews from all across the country, remain as strong and able today as they did for the second Pride’s maiden voyage a quarter of a century ago. There is every reason to think a lot more than yet another quarter of a century can be counted on by the Maryland Citizen’s Sailing Ambassador and Renaissance of the World Renowned Baltimore Schooner Privateer, Pride of Baltimore II.


What will be the future of Pride of Baltimore II?

Our Pride is the most world renowned American sailing vessel sailing today. We Marylanders are blessed with a rediscovered worldwide admiring repute for imagination and gumption (just like our Chesapeake Bay forebears of over two centuries ago that  created the Baltimore Schooner) for our Baltimore City’s Inner Harbor renaissance (copied by many maritime cities around the world) and for our continuing support for sending forth our sailing ambassador about the globe paying respects and salutations to all ports and countries she voyages to. The “face” we Marylanders and Baltimoreans receive from the world through the continuing voyages of “Our Pride” has also become the “pride” of all Americans due to international admiration for our worldwide voyaging and  uniquely “American” creation re-represented from our past & breathtakingly faithfully sailed today, for all to see.

Now that our bicentenary commemorations are complete…will we still want to support our Pride to the rest of our country & internationally & overseas? Do we still want to celebrate our Pride’s departures for long voyages in anticipation of reading about her warm receptions to her destinations? Do we still look giddily forward to those grand welcome home arrivals of our beautiful and worldwide renowned sailing ambassador?

We Fell’s Pointers, we Baltimoreans, we Marylanders have a most unique representative that spans much more than who we are today. Our sailing Pride reminds us of our City’s citizen’s uniquely creative and entrepreneurial acts in the youngest years as a nation. Our sailing Pride reminds us of our City’s citizen’s roles in the successful defense of our city in a war about international rights and respect that marked the beginning of two centuries through which our nation became a world player and evolved into a world leader. Our sailing Pride reminds us of our modern revitalization and renaissance successes that are held as a model worldwide. Our sailing Pride reminds ourselves and the wide world of our character of boldness and singular imagination for entrepreneurial notions through her continuing voyages.

Will we Marylanders and Baltimoreans continue to desire to proudly share our sailing ambassador of our history, our achievements and our aspirations? I say how could we not? What would we say to ourselves, much less anyone else, if we were to discontinue being represented by such a worldwide recognized iconic American symbol that has origins nowhere else in our country or the world? We are justifiably proud of our heritage and our sailing ambassador just as we are proud of our Inner Harbor that we continue to maintain and upgrade to our own benefit and joy, as well to all of our visitors from near and far.

We will reap continued pride within ourselves and from the wide world by continuing to be able to point to where our sailing Pride has been and to where she is going for as long as she remains actively voyaging with a warm and friendly hello from us Marylanders. Our Pride legacy stretches now nearly four decades. This Pride legacy is now a part of our identity. We must continue this worldwide renowned legacy. It is part of who we are. And who we are is linked to how our nation evolved to what it is today. And to how we view the future;one of vitality, imagination, boldness gumption…personal pride. We must keep our Pride sailing in perpetuity.

Pass the word around…support your PRIDE!

Jan C. Miles