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In the summer of 2021, the Museum undertook the True Colours Flag Project, an ambitious project to recreate a "suit of colours," the full set of flags carried by ships during the Revolutionary War. Betsy Ross, Rebecca Flower Young, and other Philadelphia seamstresses supported the Revolutionary War by making the large flags flown by privateers and navy ships at sea; however, they did not sew flags just from the United States! In addition to the United States, these seamstresses actually made flags from countries all over the globe, like France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, and more.

To recreate our own "suit of colours," the Museum worked with a team of seamstresses from across the country to make these enormous flags — the full group of which included Kirsten Hammerstrom, Kaitlin Healy, Ruth Hodges, Nastassia Parker, Kim Praria, Nicole Rudolph, Gabriela Salvador, Jana Violante, and Hannah Wallace as well as Elise D'Avella, Jennifer Gray, and Carol Spacht of the Betsy Ross House.

Many of these modern makers spoke with the Museum about their role in the True Colours Flag Project, the impact the project had on them, and how their flags came together. Enjoy the video above!

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

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Image 052023 True Colors Flag Project 1001 Jr3b9458

True Colours & Washington Standard Projects

Follow the process of recreating and the history behind the flags flown by 18th-century ships during the Revolutionary War as well as General George Washington's headquarters flag.
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American Sailing Vessel 1778 Courtesy National Maritime Museum Royal Museums
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London 
True Colours Flag Project

An Introduction to the True Colours Flag Project

Learn more about the Museum's True Colours Flag Project, an initiative to recreate a "suit of colours" or set of flags carried by ships during the Revolutionary War.
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Image 061521 Exhibit Flags Founding Documents Htb 3447
True Colours Flag Project

True Colours Replica Flags Debut at the Museum

Check out photos and behind-the-scenes moments from the the debut of the True Colours Flag Project at the Museum over Flag Day weekend.
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