1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Spangles, A New Boomeresque Tangle (With Apologies to Francis Scott Key)

by Suzanne Fluhr on June 4, 2018 · 17 comments

Spangles, a new boomeresque tangle

With the caveat that I’ve tried to do due diligence to discover whether this is already a named tangle, here is Spangles, a new Boomeresque tangle.

Spangles, a new Boomeresque tangle


It’s a little embarrassing to admit that the genesis of this tangle is nothing in particular. I suspect it started when I was doing some old-fashioned, traditional doodling while “watching” cable TV news. I find that keeping my hands occupied keeps me from throwing things at the television.

When I’m just mindlessly doodling (as opposed to mindfully using the Zentangle® method), I resort to very familiar shapes, such as stars. Over several months, my stars started to connect, forming interesting (to me, anyway) patterns. As usual, shading causes certain aspects to “pop”, providing depth to my composition.

Some weeks of increasingly mindful “starring”, produced a tangle I am naming, Spangles. If you’re from the United States, you might know where I’m going with this.

The Star Spangled Banner has been our national anthem since 1931. It is very difficult to sing well. Indeed, watching and listening to a soloist perform The Star Spangled Banner before sporting events and important occasions is sometimes as exciting or as cringe worthy as the main event itself. Beyonce nailed it at Barack Obama’s first inauguration. Roseanne Barr, not so much.

If you stop 10 Americans on the street and ask them to sing the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner, I’m guessing that at least eight of them us won’t be able to.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Star Spangled Banner, read on. Otherwise, scroll down to the step-out for Spangles.

We Interrupt this Introduction of Spangles, a New Boomeresque Tangle, to Share Some Interesting (To Me) Facts about The Star Spangled Banner

Dawn's Early Light (1912) by Edward Percy Moran

Depiction of Francis Scott Key after the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Boston Harbor. By Edward Percy Moran (Wikimedia: Public Domain)

Most Americans learn early in their school careers that the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key. Actually, a poem called The Defence of Fort M’Henry was written by Francis Scott Key during what Americans call the War of 1812 or the Second War for American Independence.

Mention the War of 1812 to one of your British friends, and expect to receive a blank stare. To Britain, the War of 1812 was a side show to the deadly Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe at the time. The main goal of the British was to keep the United States from invading and annexing Canada while Britain was otherwise all out engaged in the European war. As all my Canadian friends know, the British succeeded. Eh?

On the night of September 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key and a friend, found themselves aboard a British war ship in Baltimore Harbor, hoping to negotiate the release of a popular physician who had been taken prisoner by the British. They were invited to dine with the Commander of the fleet at which time they happened to overhear the British plan to take Baltimore. They actually succeeded in securing the release of the physician, but they were forced to remain with the British fleet until after the battle.

Key spent an anxious night watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British ships. At dawn, he was able to see that an American flag still flew over the fort and he was moved to write his poem, the first stanza of which describes his view of the battle.

It was Key’s brother-in-law who decided the poem should be set to the music of a popular song of the day, To Anacreon in Heaven, a/k/a The Anacreontic Song.

You may or more likely not be thinking, “Who or what was Anacreon?” I’ll save you the trip to Wikipedia. Anacreon was a Greek poet for whom drinking and love were popular themes. The music for the song was composed by John Stafford Smith for a short-lived English gentlemen’s club, the Anacreontic Society (c. 1766-1792), devoted to music and of course drinking.

So, my tangle, Spangles, was inspired by a poem about what would have been an obscure battle, set to an English drinking song that somehow morphed into the national anthem of the United States of America. Given its popularity at sporting events, many some of my fellow Americans think the last two words of the song are “Play ball.” 😉

Step Outs for Spangles

Spangles step outs, Zentangle tangle

Spangles. This can also be done with 6 pointed stars. The smaller the stars, the more non-objective the tangle appears.

Notes: Each star should have one point touching at least one point of another star. It’s even better if a star touches point to point on more than one star. The shading is most effective if you imagine the light source from one particular direction. This tangle works with either five or six pointed stars.

Copyright notice: You are free to “pin” these steps to your or another’s Pinterest account as long as you link back to this post which will happen automatically if you pin from here. You may print these steps with attribution for non-commercial use. If you wish to use these steps commercially, please contact me. 


Here are some examples of ways I’ve used Spangles. As you can see in the second example, the closer together the “stars” are the more non-objective the tangle looks — a good thing because technically, in the Zentangle method, tangles are supposed to be non-representational.

Spangles, a new boomeresque tangle

Spangles on a striped background.

Spangles using Spearator

Spangles with both 5 and 6 pointed stars and Dots, using Spearator as the string. I think the stars look more non-objective with the 6 pointed stars which some might say is more “kosher” for the Zentangle method.

Spangles, A new boomeresque tangle

Spangles with Holligbaugh (from the Zentangle Mother Ship), Perfs/Pearls?, and the chain tangle I can embarrassingly never remember the name of. Please tell us in a comment if you know.

If you give Spangles a try, feel free to leave a link to your work with your comment below. (If you are receiving this post by email, if you want to leave a comment, you can do so by clicking here and scrolling down.)

Check out other tangles I’ve published on Boomeresque:  PhirstSegundoTerceroAurabeadAloha, Spearator, Springish, and Shorely

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin June 5, 2018 at 10:14 am

Your tangles are always beautiful. I have yet to master the craft. I’m afraid I’m still working on coloring. But the explanation about the Battle of Ft. McHenry really caught my attention. I go through the Ft. McHenry tunnel at least two times a year to visit good friends in Northern Virginia. I knew some of the history of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, but not the actual reason why Francis Scott Key was on that ship. Our elementary school history books left out a lot of detail.


CharKat June 5, 2018 at 10:27 am

I have a cool new tangle to use now, and a history lesson! Thank you. I love this one.


Ed Holmes June 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm

Nice. Learned some history also.


Nan June 5, 2018 at 10:20 pm

Your Spangles looks like people holding hands and dancing! Well, at one glance. I always loved that story about the Star Spangled Banner. I didn’t know about the Physician they got released – that’s neat. You always have the coolest stuff – of course, you are my sister from another mother in so many things!!


Anna June 26, 2018 at 2:00 am Me ha gustado tu blog mas amenudo lo visitare.


HeidiSue July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Kosher. I see what you did there! Spangle looks so cool filling up spaces. The drop shading …well done!


Suzanne Fluhr July 30, 2018 at 10:55 pm

Thank you! I know Zentangle tangle patterns aren’t supposed to consist of recognizable things (i.e. like stars), but when used to fill a space, I think the “Spangles” stars become somet(IMHO)


roz warren August 22, 2018 at 6:42 pm

What a lovely pattern!
I am currently learning to play the Star Spangled Banner on the piano.
Ive never gotten through it without making a mistake but I live in hope.


Kimberly Gilley September 22, 2019 at 4:41 am

I really appreciate your posts.
I enjoy learning things and your style is wonderful!
I noticed that no one had listed the name of that other tangle.
It’s “Nook Repus” I believe.
Anyways… Have a deliberately enjoyable day!


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