License plates depicting "The Star Spangled Banner" adorn Maryland cars. Commemorative coins inscribed with "O say can you see" will be offered for sale. The state's events will culminate in 2014 with lots of fireworks, if not bombs, bursting in air over Ft. McHenry.
The Navy holds its achievements in high regard, citing victories "against great odds" over the mighty Royal Navy. U.S. Navy officials are helping organize visits by tall ships and modern vessels from navies around the world to ports on the East Coast, the Great Lakes and New Orleans, site of Jackson's celebrated victory.
A broader U.S. commemoration has been hampered by tight government budgets: Legislation to create a national commission to plan bicentennial events died in Congress. Also diminishing its promotional opportunities, the bicentennial overlaps the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Britain doesn't seem to be planning much, probably because the War of 1812 was viewed as a distraction for a country focused on defeating Napoleon, historians said. Some Canadians worry that if they make too big a deal about repelling the American invaders, it could offend their southern neighbor.
Then again, Americans may not notice.