You’re a Grand Old Flag: Philly Flag Day Celebrations
Celebrate the stars and stripes in Old City all week long!
Flag Day is June 14, and there is no better place to celebrate the stars and stripes turning 241 years old than their birthplace. Fittingly, Old City goes all out; especially the Betsy Ross House, who is celebrating all week! Here is what’s in store for Flag Day festivities.
239 Arch St., Philadelphia
Every day from June 10—16, there will be fun activities at Betsy Ross House, beginning with daily flag raisings with Betsy Ross at 10 am, and including “Stars and Stripes selfies,” educational programming, historical reenactors, and more.
On Wednesday, June 13 from 11 am—4 pm, there will also be children’s interactive chocolate making demonstrations, where kids will learn about the Revolutionary role of chocolate, practice their hand at frothing, and finally enjoy a delicious cup of 18th-century chocolate.
On June 14, which is Flag Day, admission to the Betsy Ross House will be free all day long, and a beer garden will pop up in the courtyard in the evening. Throughout that day, visitors will also have the unique opportunity to meet artisans from the Defense Logistics Agency who hand-embroider the U.S. flags, and see how they do their detailed work. At 1 pm that day, there will be a public naturalization ceremony, as the Philadelphia Flag Day Association will welcome 13 new citizens to take the Oath of Allegiance. All are welcome to join them in their first Pledge of Allegiance as new American citizens. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the U.S. Army Field Band Brass Quintet.
But the party doesn’t end with Flag Day. On Saturday, June 16, the Betsy Ross House will host Stars and Stripes Saturday, a daylong carnival with games, live entertainment, and more.
National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St., Philadelphia
Celebrating the birthday of both the American flag as well as the U.S. Army, this festival includes events to honor the flag, as well as military elements like a Change of Command Ceremony and remarks celebrating the Army’s 243rd anniversary, culminating with the cutting of an Army birthday cake and music by the U.S. Army Field Band Brass Quintet.
At 10:30 am, come to the front lawn of the National Constitution Center for a 50-star flag raising ceremony followed by a patriotic parade to Independence Hall led by both current and retired troops.
Throughout the day, families can stop by the Stripes and Stars Community Fair on the Constitution Center’s front lawn for activities hosted by veterans’ organizations and museums, and displays featuring military vehicles and equipment.
Inside the Constitution Center, you will find arts and craft activities, educational programs on the history of the flag, and more. Visitors can also attend special Soldier Talks, in partnership with the “Meet Your Army” Campaign, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm. Events inside the Constitution Center require a ticket for general admission.
The day concludes at 2:30 pm, as festival visitors can help fold a giant American flag on the front lawn of the Constitution Center.
101 South Third St., Philadelphia
In honor of Flag Day, the museum will bring out the rare surviving flag that was George Washington’s Commander-in-Chief’s Standard, and display it in the Patriots Gallery all weekend. This flag marked Washington’s presence on the battlefield, and you may recognize the flag’s six-pointed stars from the museum’s logo!
There will also be lots of hands-on activities throughout the weekend. Add a stitch to a reproduction of a Revolutionary flag, design your own flag, play dress-up, and more. You can also participate in an interactive “capture the flag” challenge in the museum’s galleries, and take this opportunity to visit the museum’s new Revolution Place family discovery center which opens to the public on June 9.
Photographs courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.