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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 over Flag Day weekend to explore the evolution of the American flag with the opening of our summer exhibition, Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today, view a display of enormous handmade replica flags flown by navy ships at sea during the Revolutionary War with the debut of our True Colours Flag Project, and other family-friendly events and activities.

Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today Opening Weekend
June 12 through Sept. 6, 2021

This new summer exhibition at the Museum will showcase 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 will trace the evolution of the American flag by featuring an example of each iteration as new states were added.

True Colours Flag Project Debut
Onsite | Daily

The Museum will debut our True Colours Flag Project, flying handmade replicas of enormous flags flown by privateers and navy ships at sea during the Revolutionary era, on our outdoor Plaza over Flag Day Weekend. Explore the work of women like Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross, Rebecca Flower Young, and other Philadelphia seamstresses who supported the Revolutionary War, and learn how 18th-century sailing vessels utilized a variety of flags to allow them to safely pass through enemy waters.

In-Gallery Talks: Monmouth and Forster Flags
Onsite | Daily

Enjoy a 10-minute pop-up talk to learn more about the Monmouth flag and Forster flag on display at the Museum. The Monmouth flag, on loan from the Monmouth County Historical Association, descended in a Pennsylvania family and is one of the oldest surviving flags from the American Revolution, dating to 1775-76. 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. 

Virtual “Walking” Tour: Rebecca Flower Young
Online
| Flag Day Weekend
Join us online to learn more about flagmaker Rebecca Flower Young, who advertised “all kinds of colours” for the Revolutionary cause from her shop here in Philadelphia. Virtually “walk” through the neighborhood where Young worked, view replica objects, and discover Young’s work as a military contractor making flags and drum cases for the Continental Army.

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Design Your Own Flag Craft

Download our printable PDF worksheet and instructions below to learn what some of the symbols mean and then create a flag of your own.
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American Flag’s Origins: A Symbol of Unity or Dissent?

Museum Chief Historian Dr. Philip Mead takes a closer look at the evolution of the American flag as a symbol during the Revolutionary era.
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Washington's Headquarters Flag

Believed the be the earliest surviving 13-star American flag, Washington's Standard marked his presence throughout the war.
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