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American Flag Exhibit Opens at History Center

"Stars & Stripes: An American Story" opened at the Senator John Heinz History Center in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and will run through Flag Day in June of 2012.

History Center President and CEO Andy Masich said the flag has evolved over more than 200 years as America has come of age. This exhibit looks at significant people and events.

One of the Marines who raised the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II was a Franklin Borough resident, according to Masich, and it was a Pittsburgh native who tore down the Confederate "Stars and Bars" flag when he entered New Orleans during the Civil War.

A fragment of the very "Stars and Stripes" that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor inspiring Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem during the War of 1812 is part of an interactive exhibit.

Masich said the idea for this in-depth exhibit came out of a flag festival the center hosted ten years ago. "American flags sprouted everywhere after 9/11, and we felt it was good to focus on what is right about America at the time we were doing some soul-searching."

The National Flag Foundation has been a partner in the exhibit, along with Dr. Peter Keim, owner of the largest flag collection in the U.S. Some items are on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, the Warhol Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and private collectors.