A few months ago, Pastor Dudley Rutherford of Shepherd of the Hills Church, posted a controversial video on youtube of the history of the Star-Spangled Banner. The original video (which has since been removed) was met with severe criticism for several historical errors (you can read our blog's original criticism of the video by clicking here).
In the weeks following, Pastor Rutherford admitted that his original video was not as historically accurate as he had hoped. In consequence, he apologized for the errors and promised to revise his presentation, taking greater care to ensure that the correct history of the Star-Spangled Banner (and the bombardment of Fort McHenry) was presented.
I am now pleased to present the new and improved history of the Star-Spangled Banner by Pastor Dudley Rutherford:
Overall, I think Pastor Rutherford did a wonderful job. Of course the video isn't meant to be for historical purposes alone, but is mainly a patriotic tribute to the people and the events behind our nation's flag and anthem, and on those merits Pastor Rutherford gets an A+.
But of course, as is the case with any presentation of history (whether it be for academic or entertainment purposes) there are always things that can be done better. My only critique for Pastor Rutherford would be that at times his video makes the bombardment of Ft. McHenry look worse than it really was. As Americans, we often overemphasize the events of Ft. McHenry (and many other events from our nation's past) because...well...it makes us look and feel better. Of course this is a very mundane critique and I could easily be accused of nitpicking but hey, this is a history blog; it's what we do best!
In conclusion, kudos to Pastor Dudley Rutherford for endeavoring to get the history right. As I said before, I know professional historians, who when criticized, are unable to see past their Ph.D.'s and consider other perspectives. Yes, Pastor Rutherford's first video was no good but his final draft is excellent. And in the end, isn't this what all good historical inquiry is about?