Explore iconic history of the American flag

New exhibition to feature rare historic American flags and artifacts

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 (AUSTIN, TX) American Flags, a new exhibition curated by the Bullock Museum with nationally known flag expert and collector Dr. Peter Keim, opens in Austin on Sept. 30, 2016 and examines the transformation of the American flag and its many variations of stars and stripes. Based on one of the preeminent collections in the world assembled over more than 30 years, this inspiring exhibition features more than 25 historic flags including a 13-star version, original works of art, and related artifacts that explores the iconic history and context of our flag.

"The Bullock Museum is honored to work with Dr. Keim and help share his extraordinary collection with the public," Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez said.  "The additional works of art, artifacts, and pop culture references have resulted in a unique exhibition that will prompt many visitors to consider why the flag is such an iconic and powerful symbol of the U.S. and patriotism." 

Few symbols are as universally recognized as the American flag and for many generations prior to 1960, the United States flag was an ever-evolving symbol that reflected the growth of the nation. Featured in this exhibition are artifacts that explore the personal relationship Americans have with the flag and chronicle it's evolution since its adoption in 1777. Discover flags dating to the War of 1812, ensigns used during the Civil War and Battle of Bull Run, and a 35-star pennant flown by the Buffalo Soldiers. Additional artifacts range from original works of art, such as Andy Warhol's Moonwalk and Jasper Johns' lithograph of White Flag, to rare archival objects, such as the 1852 first edition of The History of the National Flag of the United States of America by Schuyler Hamilton—the first book dedicated to the history of the stars and stripes.

American Flags Curator Dr. Peter Keim, M.D., originally from Pittsburgh, served in the U.S. Army at Killeen Base outside Killeen, Texas in the mid-1960s. Since discovering an original 13-Star Flag at a flea market in Kurztown, Pennsylvania in 1974, he has collected, exhibited, and lectured on the history of American Flags for the past 40 years. Pete and his wife, Patricia, live in Austin, as does one of their sons, Kevin, with whom he coauthored A Grand Old Flag, a history of the United States as told through its flag. His collection has been recognized as the most comprehensive collection of American Flags in the country.

A public program held in conjunction with the new exhibition, Stars and Stripes: More than a Flag, is slated for Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at  2 p.m. at the museum. Join a conversation with veterans and historians on the history of the flag, its evolution and its role as a symbol of American pride and protest over the years. Held on Veteran's Day, this talk will focus on the importance and the challenges of public service. Hear from guest curator and nationally known flag expert Peter Keim, historian Dr. Stephen Sloan, Lt. General Jeff Howell and Lisa Sharik on their experiences and how bearing witness to pivotal moments in the nation's history gave greater meaning to those who served.

American Flags will be on view through Jan. 16, 2017 in the Rotunda Gallery at the museum. For more information and tickets, visit TheStoryofTexas.com.

Support for the Bullock Museum's exhibitions and education programs provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

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The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café and museum store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

American Flags

This press release is part of the American Flags Media Kit

American Flags, a new exhibition curated by the Bullock Museum with nationally known flag expert and collector Dr. Peter Keim, opens in Austin on Sept. 30, 2016 and examines the transformation of the American flag and its many variations of stars and stripes. Based on one of the preeminent collections in the world assembled over more than 30 years, this inspiring exhibition features more than 25 historic flags including a 13-star version, original works of art, and related artifacts that explores the iconic history and context of our flag. View Media Kit