Flag Day 2023 at the MuseumJune 14, 2023
On June 14, 1777, Congress passed the first Flag Act, adopting the 13-star flag as the official flag of the new United States. Join the Museum on Flag Day, June 14, to learn about flags of “all kinds of colours” from the Revolutionary era with activities and in-gallery talks for the whole family.
Special Exhibit: Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia
Onsite (Patriots Gallery) | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In the Museum’s newest special exhibition, explore the life and legacy of free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, and successful businessman James Forten and his descendants as they navigated the American Revolution and cross-racial relationships in Philadelphia to become leaders in the abolition movement in the lead-up to the Civil War and the women's suffrage movement. Don’t miss your chance to join a Museum educator to learn about a rare surviving silk flag painted by Philadelphia artist David Bustill Bowser for the 127th Regiment of United States Colored Troops.
Sewing Demonstration: George Washington Standard Project
Onsite (Robert A. M. Stern Rotunda)
Textile conservator Virginia Whelan will be onsite in the Museum's rotunda to discuss her work on the Museum’s George Washington Standard Project to recreate a handwoven and handsewn replica of George Washington's headquarters flag in the Museum's collection.
On Display: True Colours Flag Project
Onsite (Oneida Nation Atrium)
The Museum’s handsewn, replica “suit of colours” will be back on display for Flag Day. Learn more about the process of recreating — and the history behind — these huge flags flown by 18th-century ships at sea during the Revolutionary War. Sponsorship for the project was provided by The Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution.
In-Gallery Talks: Liberty and Forster Flags
Enjoy a 10-minute pop-up talk to learn more about the recently installed Liberty flag and the Forster flag on display at the Museum. The Liberty flag, on loan from the Schenectady Historical Society, the only surviving example from the Revolutionary War, is believed to have been carried by a New York regiment in 1776 and 1777. The Forster flag, on loan from Brian and Barbara Hendelson, may be one of the earliest American flags to have been altered after the Declaration of Independence; it is clear that the British Union was removed from it and the white fabric has been reworked to create stripes.
Rebecca Flower Young Discovery Cart
Flagmaker Rebecca Flower Young advertised “all kinds of colours” for the Revolutionary cause from her shop here in Philadelphia. Meet a Museum educator to view replica objects and learn more about Young’s work as a military contractor making flags and drum cases for the Continental Army.
Handheld Washington Standard Giveaway
Visitors to the Museum on Flag Day will receive a handheld version of General George Washington's Standard, the headquarters flag in the Museum's collection that is said to have marked his presence throughout the Revolutionary War.
Event details and programming are subject to change at any time.