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Now Open: Daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Summer Exhibit: Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today

Now closed: September 6, 2021

Our Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today summer exhibit showcased dozens of rare American flags alongside historic early state constitutions and the first printing of the proposed U.S. Constitution of 1787 to shed light on the triumphs and tensions that the United States faced as new states joined the Union. The exhibit traced the evolution of the American flag by featuring an example of each iteration as new states were added. By telling stories from the nation’s revolutionary roots to its continuing struggle over equal rights, Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today encouraged visitors to consider their role in the ongoing effort to fulfill the promise of the American Revolution.

The collection of flags was on loan from Jeff R. Bridgman, a leading dealer of antique flags and political textiles. The documents were on loan from the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation following their exhibition at The New-York Historical Society.

Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today was presented by American Heritage Credit Union. The exhibition was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Additional sponsorship was provided by The Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, Morris W. Offit, Mark R. Shenkman, and the family of Irvin and Anita Schorsch.

Image 061521 Exhibit Flags Founding Documents Htb 3179

True Colours Flag Project

Follow the process of recreating — and the history behind — the flags flown by 18th-century ships at sea during the Revolutionary War.

Image 061521 Exhibit Flags Founding Documents Htb 3447

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Explore the work of Betsy Ross, Rebecca Flower Young, and other Philadelphia seamstresses who supported the Revolutionary War by making the large flags flown by privateers and navy ships at sea. On-site visitors had an opportunity to interact with the modern makers recreating these early flags from countries like the United States, France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, and more, including handling the flags, trying their hands at sewing, and learning about historic textile work. Digital visitors could follow the project's progress and take a closer look behind the scenes.

Sponsorship provided by The Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution.

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Now On Display: John Claypoole's Diary

View the diary kept by John Claypoole, the third husband of Betsy Ross, during the 1780s, recently donated to the Museum.

Diary With Chest Credit Moar
Second Page Of Diary Credit David Edge

A Diary, a Bible, and a Family Reunion

The diary of Betsy Ross's third husband John Claypoole was recently donated to the Museum by Ross-Claypoole descendants Aileen and David Edge — who found it in a shoebox in Aileen's mother's California garage — and is newly displayed alongside Claypoole's sea chest. The diary documents Claypoole’s experiences as a prisoner of war during the Revolutionary War.

In The News

Fill in the blank: The Declaration of Independence matters because _________.

Share your answer with us on social media @amrevmuseum using #HowRevolutionary.

Ribbon Flag Independence Day Fourth Of July
blue and white miniature versions of Washington's standard flag given away to guests

Health & Safety Protocols

Learn more about the rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure the safest and most enjoyable experience for all, including reduced capacity, advance online ticket purchasing, and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols.

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From the Museum Shop

Shop these staff picks from the Museum Shop to have yourself a Revolutionary summer!

Shop Mens American Flag Socks
 

American Flag Socks

$12.99

Step out into the world in style with a pair of bold red, white, and blue American flag socks. You can rock them with your favorite pair of dress shoes or with your summer sandals, if you so choose (we promise we won't judge!).

Purchase
Shop American Flag Hat
 

American Flag Cap

$29.99

Seriously, though, what dad wouldn't want to wear this Stars and Stripes ballcap?

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Shop Colonists Citizens Constitutions
 

Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions Book

$45.00

The accompanying book to our summer exhibit, Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-TodayColonists, Citizens, Constitutions highlights documents that tell the story of American constitutionalism from the founding era through the turn of the 20th century and features a foreword written by late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Purchase

America 250’s official recognition of Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today and the True Colours Flag Project acknowledges the programs as an expression of the America 250 vision to inspire the American spirit.

Official Recognition