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Flags at the Smithsonian

In celebration of Flag Day, we've collected a variety of flags from all around the Smithsonian to explore and learn about.
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This poster of an American Flag was designed by Kastonie and dates back to 1991. The Cooper Hewitt acquired the poster in 1993. The medium of the piece is screenprint on white heavy paper and is part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department. #FlagDay

Poster (USA), 1991

This commemorative textile was printed for the US Bicentennial in 1976. Manufactured by Hancock Fabrics, it is a reproduction of an early US flag with thirteen alternating red and white stripes and thirteen white stars. Cooper Hewitt acquired it in 1977. #flagday

Textile, 1976

A Sidewall and Frieze piece that was manufactured by W. Campbell and Co. The piece is machine-printed on embossed paper and is part of our Wallcoverings Department. It is dated 1890-1900 and was acquired by the Cooper Hewitt in 1939. #FlagDay

Sidewall And Frieze (USA), 1890–1900

"Fireman climbing up a flag pole," by Japanese artist Tsutsumi Torin III

Open F|S: Fireman climbing up a flag pole

"Dipping the Flag," by James McNeill Whistler

Open F|S: Dipping the Flag

A commemorative textile made for the US Centennial in 1876 in Philadelphia with 39 stars. Around the border are flags of nations that participated in the Centennial. #flagday

Commemorative Textile (USA), 1876

This piece was acquired by the Cooper Hewitt in 1995 and is made out of cotton and printed and painted on plain weave. It is part of the Textiles Department. #FlagDay

Flag (USA), 1901–50

The story of Old Glory, one of America's most famous flags.

This Is the Story of Our Beloved Old Glory

"We were like pigeons tied by the legs to be shot at," wrote one soldier who defended Ft. McHenry from British attack 200 years ago this weekend. The attack on the Maryland fort lasted 25 hours. When it was over, Francis Scott Key saw the American flag raised over the fort and wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner," the song that would become our national anthem. Our suggestion for how to commemorate the bicentennial: enjoy the festivities at Fort McHenry in person or on CSPAN.

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Caring for the 200-year-old, massive Star-Spangled Banner flag keeps our conservators very busy.

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Can you help us spread the word by re-pinning? The Star-Spangled Banner flag is competition with other Smithsonian artifacts. We want to know which is your favorite. If you love the flag, cast your vote today and ask a friend to do the same! The flag is 200 years old. After the Battle of Ft. McHenry, the flag was raised over the fort to announce the American victory over the British. #SIshowdown

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The Star-Spangled Banner received world-class care in the Smithsonian. Vote for it in Smithsonian Showdown! #SIshowdown

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There are a lot of amazing objects in the Smithsonian. But Smithsonian staff are curious: which one do YOU think is the most iconic? (Our pick: the Star-Spangled Banner!) Cast your vote here.

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This flag was included in the special "gift bag," in which several exchange items were carried aboard the Apollo command module during the joint US-USSR Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission.

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United States Air Force American flag insignia

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National Air and Space Museum Smithsonian

NASA presented this flag, mission patch and certificate as mementos of the first Space Shuttle Mission, STS-1, in 1981.

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This flag was inside astronaut John Glenn's Friendship 7 Mercury Capsule when he became the first American to orbit Earth. The flag, apparently packed inside the spacecraft, came with Friendship 7 when it was given to the Smithsonian Institution by NASA in 1963.

Flag, U.S., Friendship 7 | National Air and Space Museum

The American flag is often seen in summer's patriotic celebrations. Don't forget to keep the Flag Code in mind for Flag Day this Saturday.

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Should you bring your flag indoors during inclement weather? Brush up on your etiquette in time for Flag Day on June 14.

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Rain or shine? Day or night? Brush up on Flag Code before #FlagDay. #raiseitup

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The museum removed 1.7 million stitches (a previous preservation attempt) from the Star-Spangled Banner.

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The flag hung vertically for almost 40 years. Now it’s at a 10 degree angle in an hypoxic environment.

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Children Playing at Dockside, ca.1939-1942, William H. Johnson, tempera and pen and ink with pencil on paper, 15 3/8 x 12 3/8 in. (38.9 x 31.3 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.146

Children Playing at Dockside by William H. Johnson / American Art

Soldiers Training, ca. 1942, William H. Johnson, oil on plywood, 37 3/4 x 49 1/4 in. (95.9 x 125.1 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.582

Soldiers Training by William H. Johnson / American Art

Folded Flag #2, 2001, Mimi Herbert, silk-screened formed acrylic 36 x 27 1/2 x 5 3/4 in. (91.4 x 69.9 x 14.6 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist 2002.83

Folded Flag #2 by Mimi Herbert / American Art