Stripes and Stars Festival
The images used on national and state flags are not just pictures—they have significant meanings. What symbols would you incorporate if you were to design a flag for your class, school, or community?
Stripes and Stars Festival: Flag Day and Army Birthday
Philadelphia’s Stripes and Stars Festival 2016
Location: Independence National Historical Park and surrounding locations throughout Historic Philadelphia
About the Festival
From star-spangled banners to five-star generals, Philadelphia celebrates the shared birthday of two of our country’s greatest institutions—the American flag and the U.S. Army! The Stripes and Stars Festival takes place annually on June 14 at locations throughout Independence National Historical Park and Historic Philadelphia, including Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, and the National Constitution Center. Events include flag raising ceremonies, a patriotic parade, giant flag folding demonstrations, and a moving naturalization ceremony.
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13 Star Flag Raising
- Betsy Ross House, 10 a.m. Betsy Ross herself raises a 13-star flag in the Betsy Ross House courtyard to kick off the day’s events.
50 Star Flag Raising and Grand Parade
- National Constitution Center Front Lawn, 10:30 a.m. Following a 50-star flag raising, troops—past and present—will join a patriotic parade to Independence Hall.
Stripes and Stars Festival Opening Ceremony
- Independence Hall, 11 a.m. Independence National Historical Park Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod will read the original act that established the flag of the United States, followed by a reading of the Mayor’s Army Birthday Proclamation, remarks by military dignitaries, and a special enlistment ceremony.
Spirit of Liberty Sky Diving Team
- Independence Mall, 11:30 a.m. See a spectacular display as members of the Spirit of Liberty Sky Diving Team land on Independence Mall.
- Betsy Ross House, 1 p.m. Welcome 13 new Americans in a moving naturalization ceremony, hosted by the Philadelphia Flag Day Association.
Giant Flag Folding
- National Constitution Center, 2 p.m. The day concludes as festival visitors help fold a giant American flag!
- Stripes and Stars Community Fair, Independence National Historical Park
- Macy’s Family Day, National Constitution Center
- Flag Week Festival, Betsy Ross House
- Burial Ground Tour, Christ Church Burial Ground
Presenting partners of the Stripes and Stars festival include the Philadelphia Flag Day Association, the Association of the United States Army: William Penn Chapter, Independence National Historical Park, the National Constitution Center, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., and the Betsy Ross House.
Additional partners include the City of Philadelphia, the United States Army, the Pennsylvania National Guard, Christ Church, Spirit of Liberty Foundation, Redball Military Transport Club, Daughters of the American Revolution (Flag House Chapter), Sons of the American Revolution (Philadelphia Continental Chapter).
In the Classroom
Lesson Plans and Activities
- The History of the U.S. Flag Video
- The History of Flag Day Lesson Plan
- American Flag Pinwheels Craft Activity
- Design Your Own Flag Craft Activity
- Patriotic Wreaths Craft Activity