Flag Day: 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?
Celebrate on Independece Mall
About the Stripes and Stars 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. This year’s Stripes and Stars Festival commemorates the U.S. Army’s 244th anniversary and the American flag’s 242nd birthday. The festival will take place on Friday, June 14, 2019, at locations throughout Independence National Historical Park and Historic Philadelphia, including Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, Christ Church Burial Ground, and the National Constitution Center. Events include flag raising ceremonies, a patriotic parade, a swearing-in of army recruits, a dramatic skydiving performance, displays and demonstrations of U.S. Army equipment, giant flag folding activities, and a moving naturalization ceremony.
Most Stripes and Stars Festival events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted below.
13-Star Flag Raising
10 a.m., Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street
Events continue with the 13-star flag raising in the Betsy Ross House courtyard will also include a reading of a mayoral proclamation recognizing the Betsy Ross House as the site of the city of Philadelphia’s official Flag Day celebration.
50-Star Flag Raising and Grand Parade
10:30 a.m., National Constitution Center Front Lawn, 525 Arch Street
Following a moving 50-star flag raising ceremony, troops — past and present — will join a patriotic parade to Independence Hall.
Stripes and Stars Festival Opening Ceremony
11 a.m., Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut Street
Independence National Historical Park’s Deputy Superintendent Patrick Suddath will provide remarks followed by the raising of the Philadelphia Flag Day Association’s specially-commissioned 13-star flag. After a reading of the Continental Congress resolution establishing the U.S. Army, the army recruits will take their enlistment oath . Observing a long-standing tradition, the youngest and oldest soldiers present will cut the Army birthday cake.
Team Fastrax Professional Skydiving Team
12 p.m., Independence Mall
Visitors on Independence Mall will have the opportunity to witness a spectacular skydive demonstration by the Team Fastrax Professional Skydiving Team.
1 p.m., Betsy Ross House
As part of its 76th annual Flag Day festivities, the Philadelphia Flag Day Association (founded 1934) will welcome 13 new citizens who will take the Oath of Allegiance in a ceremony at the Betsy Ross House. 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.
Flag Retirement Ceremony
2 p.m., Betsy Ross House
Visitors can watch as Scouts from the Boy Scouts of America, Roosevelt District, Cradle of Liberty Council officially retire worn American flags.
Giant Flag Folding
2:30 p.m. at the National Constitution Center; 3:30 p.m. at Independence Hall
The day concludes as festival visitors help fold a giant American flag.