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Don’t Miss Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today Special Exhibition

See a Broadside Printing of the Declaration of Independence, Play AmRev Quizzo, and Add to a Giant Ribbon Flag

What does it mean to be an American? What does freedom mean to you? What can you do to carry forward the American Revolution’s promises of liberty and equality? Explore these questions and more during the Museum of the American Revolution’s weeklong Fourth of July celebration from Monday, June 28 – Monday, July 5, 2021.

Join us for special exhibits, events, and activities for all ages, including the summer special exhibition Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today, on view beginning June 12 as part of the Museum’s Revolutionary Summer. Plus, don’t miss a spectacular display in the Museum’s first-floor atrium featuring giant flags replicating those that were flown by ships during the Revolutionary War, as part of the True Colours Flag Project.

“Our mission as a Museum is to uncover and share compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government,” said Adrienne Whaley, Director of Education and Community Engagement. “If we can help people have a more complex understanding of the founding era, then we can help people have a more complex conversation about who we are as Americans today and how we can work together to create a ‘more perfect Union.’"

Fourth of July Week offerings are included with regular Museum admission. The Museum is currently open Thursdays – Mondays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. From June 23 – July 12, the Museum will be open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Advanced online ticket purchasing is recommended to guarantee availability. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 215.253.6731. Children ages 5 and under are always free.

Declaration Gallery Credit Moar

Fourth of July Week Highlights:

  • Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today Exhibition | Onsite, Daily
    The Museum’s summer exhibition showcases more than 40 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 traces the evolution of the American flag by featuring an example of each iteration as new states were added. Visitors of all ages can enjoy pop-up talks, discovery carts, make-your-own flag and create-your-own constitution activity stations and more.
  • True Colours Flag Project | Onsite, Daily
    Large, colorful handmade replicas of the flags flown by privateers and navy ships at sea during the Revolutionary War will fly in our first-floor atrium during July 4th week. Explore the work of women like Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross, Rebecca Flower Young, and other Philadelphia seamstresses who supported the Revolutionary War by making flags, and learn how 18th-century sailing vessels utilized a variety of flags to allow them to safely pass through enemy waters.
  • Add to our Ribbon Flag! | Onsite, Daily
    What does the Declaration of Independence mean to you? Write your answer on a ribbon and add it to our huge ribbon-flag display! Don’t forget to snap a photo with your ribbon and share it with us on social media @AmRevMuseum using #HowRevolutionary. 
  • “Meet Elizabeth Freeman” Film | Onsite and Online
    Watch a 25-minute film of an original first-person theatrical performance portraying the life and experiences of Elizabeth Freeman, a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won. “Meet Elizabeth Freeman” stars Tiffany Bacon as Elizabeth Freeman and was written by Teresa Miller.
  • AmRev Quizzo Night
    Thursday, July 1, 2021 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

    From flags to fireworks, what did past 4th of July celebrations look like? Which traditions are from the pages of history and which recent ones are pure Philly? Join this free virtual trivia hosted by staff of the Museum of the American Revolution and the American Civil War Museum for a lively competition with no history degree required. Register here.
  • Pop-Up Talks and Discovery Carts | Onsite, Daily
    Enjoy a 10-minute pop-up talk in the Museum’s Declaration of Independence gallery to explore more about what the “promise of equality” means for all people. At a discovery cart, meet a Museum educator and view replica objects to learn more about what Continental Army soldiers carried in their knapsack, such as a fire-starting kit and an 18th-century whirligig.
  • Revolution Place | June 25 – July 12, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
    In the Museum’s family-friendly discovery center Revolution Place, explore 18th-century Philadelphia through immersive environments, interactive touchscreens, replica objects, and special daily programs. 
  • Gear Up for July 4th in the Museum Shop | Onsite and Online
    From a star-spangled stainless steel water bottle to Stars and Stripes-themed socks and an American flag-festooned cap, the Museum’s Shop has everything you need to gear up for Independence Day. The shop is open during the Museum’s operating hours or online anytime. 


Ribbon Flag Independence Day Fourth Of July

In the Museum’s core galleries, visitors can view a rare 1777 broadside of the Declaration of Independence printed by Maryland postmaster and printer Mary Katharine Goddard. Goddard’s printing was the first to include the names of the signers of the document. Her own name, as printer, also appears at the bottom of the page. In a pocket theater that evokes the interior of Independence Hall, visitors can watch a film about the tumultuous weeks leading up to the adoption of the Declaration. Through a touchscreen installation (which is now available online), visitors learn about the 88 local declarations of support for independence that preceded the one issued by the Continental Congress. Galleries also explore what “the promise of equality” meant for all people, including women, native people, and enslaved people.

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

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.