Revolutionary War Flags Collection

The Museum’s Revolutionary War Flags Collection includes a variety of historic battle flags, including the Betsy Ross, Cowpens, Bennington, and Gadsden Flags. Learn about these and other American Revolution Flags as you take a virtual tour of the collection.

After more than 140 years, the Museum’s historic battle flags are returning to public view for the first time in decades. Over the years, poor storage conditions in crowded cases exposed the silk and cotton flags to dirt from the Capitol building and surrounding urban environment. The aging fabrics were also stressed by light exposure and gravity. The National Museum of American History has restored the deteriorated fabric and reconstructed a flat display system for the rolled battle flags to help preserve them.

Honoring Heroes: Revolutionary War Flags Collection

A blue silk flag served as the regimental emblem of a group of men from Culpeper, Virginia in the 2nd Spartan Regiment that fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781. This is one of fewer than half a dozen surviving Revolutionary War flags from the South. The family of the regiment’s leader reverently preserved the flag in a small wooden chest that was inscribed with the names of each descendant until the mid-20th century when it came into the Museum’s possession.

The dashing +and sometimes despised British cavalry officer Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton captured these remarkably intact regimental standards during two battles almost a year apart. They were sold at auction on Flag Day 225 years later to an anonymous bidder. The four rare Revolutionary War flags three main regimental flags and two divisional flags+are an inspiring window into the birth of our nation.

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