American Flags

Symbols of revolution, union, war, protest, and patriotism

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For many generations prior to 1960, the United States flag was an ever-evolving symbol that reflected the growth of the nation. The American flag's history includes iconic moments of revolution, union, war, protest, and patriotism. Based on one of the preeminent collections in the world that was assembled over more than 30 years, this inspiring exhibition of textiles, artwork, and related memorabilia explores the history and context of the American flag.

Guest curated by nationally known flag expert and collector Dr. Peter Keim, American Flags places on view more than 25 historic flags, including a 200 year-old 13-star flag from the Early Revolutionary War period and the only known 14-star flag in existence.

Inside the Exhibition

Explore the transformation of the American flag and the historic events that influenced its many variations of red, white, and blue, and its stars and stripes. 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 artwork, such as Andy Warhol's Moonwalk and Jasper Johns' lithograph of White Flag, to rare archival pieces, 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. Learn the nuances of proper flag etiquette and experience the growth of the nation through ever-evolving, star-spangled fabric sewn, held, and flown by ordinary and extraordinary Americans.

Web exclusive: Listen to NPR's 2007 conversation with father-son team Peter and Kevin Keim as they discuss their lifetime of passionate American flag collecting.

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

Banner image courtesy Kevin and Peter Keim.