/PRNewswire/ -- The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, home of the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem, has partnered with USA Weekend Magazine to launch the Star-Spangled Banner YouTube Singing Contest on Sunday, Feb. 15.
"The Star-Spangled Banner is one of our nation's most treasured objects, a symbol of what this country stands for," said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. "We thought that this contest would be a fun way to dispel the notion that history is boring and engage people with their flag and their anthem."
Fifteen semi-finalists will be selected by April 17 according to vocal performance, originality, accuracy and popularity on YouTube. All semi-finalists will receive a signed copy of the book "The Star Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon," and their videos will be featured on the museum's Star-Spangled Banner Web site.
The top video will be chosen by a panel of celebrities, Smithsonian judges and a representative from the Orioles and announced May 19. The winner will be invited to perform the national anthem at the museum and at the Baltimore Orioles versus Atlanta Braves game in Baltimore on Flag Day, June 14. USA Weekend will provide the winner with a trip for two to Washington, D.C., including airfare, hotel accommodation for two nights, tickets and transportation to the game and $400 spending money.
"This is the first YouTube contest at the Smithsonian and it fits well with the notion that the Star-Spangled Banner belongs to everyone," said Matthew MacArthur, the museum's director of New Media.
For contest rules, sample videos, lyrics and to enter, participants should visit the Star-Spangled Banner YouTube Singing Contest Web site. Entries may be submitted from Feb. 15 to April 13, 2009. Participants and others can follow the contest via Twitter: http://twitter.com/amhistorymuseum (@amhistorymuseum)
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