Star-Spangled Banner Silver Dollar Sees Light in Senate


Silver Coin LegislationA Senate bill casts new light on a proposal to commemorate the bicentennial of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with a silver dollar.

Maryland Senators Cardin and Mikulski introduced S. 3525 Thursday, which calls for 350,000 commemorative $1 silver coins to be issued in 2012, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Each silver coin would:

  • weigh 26.73 grams;
  • have a diameter of 1.500 inches; and
  • contain 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper

S. 3525 follows on the heels of the passage of House Resolution 2894, the Star-Spangled Banner and War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2894 in May with the support of nearly 300 cosponsors. It was then forwarded to the Senate for consideration.

Both Senate and House bills are identical with the exception of slight language variations in the surcharge sections. The Senate version also has a different title, the ‘Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act‘ — a drop "War of 1812."

Francis Scott Key wrote the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner" when he saw the American flag flying above Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland after a 25-hour British bombardment in 1814. The Star-Spangled Banner was set to music and became the national anthem in 1931.

As is typical with coin legislation, few design details are provided. The bills simply state the coins:


" … shall be emblematic of the War of 1812 and particularly the Battle for Fort McHenry that formed the basis for the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’."


The commemorative coin would include inscriptions of the year “2012”,” Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “United States of America”, and “E Pluribus Unum.” It would also have a $10 surcharge with proceeds going to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

S. 3525 was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Either of these bills could be taken up in full measure, pass both houses, and then get signed by the President to become law.

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