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Feb 18 2008

Betsy Ross House Carries On Flag Day Tradition With Flag Festival 2008 Set For June 8-15

Betsy Ross House Carries On Flag Day Tradition With Flag Festival 2008 Set For June 8-15

This is a Betsy Ross House press release.

It’s a grand old flag and there’s no better place to celebrate it than at the birthplace of our Stars and Stripes – Philadelphia’s very own Betsy Ross House, located in the heart of America’s most historic square mile. Flag Festival 2008, set for June 8-15, 2008, will celebrate Old Glory in all its forms and continue the tradition of Flag Day celebrations that began here more than 100 years ago.

The Betsy Ross House hosted its first Flag Day event on June 14, 1891 and has long been the site of the city’s official commemoration. For 2008, tradition will be turned upside down with a weeklong event featuring a flag exhibit, guest lecturers, crafters and more and capped by a weekend street fair sure to bring out the flag-flying patriot in everyone.

The Festival kicks off on Sunday, June 8, the first day of National Flag Week. The centerpiece of the event is an exhibit of historic American flags, many of which have never been publicly displayed. Culled from the best of the extensive collection of Jeff Kohn, one of the United States’ foremost flag historians, the exhibition will highlight the most rare and unusual homemade examples of what experts consider the country’s first true folk-art form.

All week long, in the House’s shady courtyard, members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild will demonstrate the workmanship that went into those homemade flags as they hand stitch a giant flag that will be installed at the House during the festival. Visitors will also meet Betsy Ross, enjoy family-style entertainment and be treated to book signings and lectures by flag experts and historians.

An old-fashioned street fair takes over Arch Street at 10 a.m. on Flag Day, Saturday, June 14 and continues through Sunday, June 15. At noon on Saturday, the Betsy Ross House again hosts the city’s Official Flag Day Celebration, presented by the Philadelphia Flag Day Association. Street-side booths will feature the work of local artists, food, carnival games and more. Music and interactive performances are also on tap.

And there’s so much more. Search the attics for hidden treasure and bring flag finds along to be appraised as part of the festival’s Flag Roadshow. Put your thoughts about the Stars & Stripes on a sticky note and add it to what will become a huge paper flag and an attempt at world record. You’ll find something for everyone at Flag Festival.

The Betsy Ross House is dedicated to preserving the legend of the first flag and the story of Betsy Ross, herself, and of all colonial women. The House, located at 239 Arch Street, just blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, is one of Philadelphia’s most popular historic attractions with nearly 300,000 visitors annually.

The Betsy Ross House is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily April through October and Tuesday through Sunday in winter months. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children and seniors. An optional audio guide is $5, which includes admission.

For more information about Flag Festival or any other programs at the Betsy Ross House, call (215) 686-1252 or visit

The Betsy Ross House is managed by Historic Philadelphia, Inc. HPI enhances the visitor experience and helps strengthen Philadelphia's tourism industry through interpretation and interaction, making our nation's history relevant and real. Historic Philadelphia, Inc.'s other programs include Once Upon A Nation storytelling and Adventure Tours, Franklin Square, and the Lights of Liberty Show. For more information, call (215) 629-4026 or visit

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