First Lady begins her four day Save Our Treasures Tour in Washington,
D.C. at the National Museum of American History. At this event, the
First Lady will be joined by the President in announcing the start of a
restoration project for the American flag displayed at the museum. This
flag was made by Mrs. Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, Maryland in 1813 and
was flying over Ft. McHenry at dawn of September 14, 1814, when Francis
Scott Key saw it, signifying that the forts commander, Major George
Armistead, and his troops had withstood a British attack. Inspired, Key
began writing about the sight and the siege of Ft. McHenry. This poem
became a popular patriotic song, and in 1931, an Act of Congress declared
The Star Spangled Banner our national anthem.
Description: The flag measures 30' x 34' and weighs approximately 300 lbs. There are 15 white cotton 5-pointed stars, approximately 24" wide, on blue field of English wool bunting and 15 stripes --8 red and 7 white.
Preservation Needs: The conservation effort includes a variety of elements, including the construction of barriers around Flag Hall prior to deinstallation of the flag; The deinstallation of the flag and its removal to the laboratory; Construction of a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory on the Museum premises (with windows so that visitors might view the work in progress); Non-federal employment of a team of conservators and conservation technicians; Equipment and supplies; and research to determine the optimum specifications of the showcase to prolong the life of the flag.
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