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National Archives

Stripes and Stars

July 4, 2001 to October 30, 2001

Stripes and Stars

Stripes and Stars

Stripes and Stars

The Continental Congress resolved in 1777 that "the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation." Since that time, the American flag has been raised high in wartime triumph and peacetime celebration; burned in fervent protest; sewn lovingly onto quilts, caps, pillows, and bags; appropriated by the commercial sphere to sell goods as varied as cigars, designer clothing, and rock-and-roll albums; and faithfully honored every Wooden shield emblemFourth of July to celebrate America's independence. Far from being a static symbol, though, the flag has been subjected to countless graphic interpretations over its 224-year history, each version owing more to the personality of the maker than to established formal conventions. And nowhere are these continual changes better viewed than in the collection of over three thousand Stars and Stripes artifacts amassed by graphic designer Kit Hinrichs, partner in the international design consultancy Pentagram.

On exhibit in 2000 at the American Institute of Graphic Arts in New York and the San Jose Museum of Art, Hinrichs's collection was hailed as a marvel of folk history and a time capsule of cultural commentary. The collection ranges from Civil War-era banners and Native American beaded moccasins to a late nineteenth-century "friendship" kimono and original flag art by several of the world's leading designers. With over five hundred objects, beautifully photographed by nationally renowned artist Terry Heffernan, Long May She Wave gives wide berth to the flag in all its manifestations, and the result is a stunning visual history of America's most treasured symbol.

-taken from the book Long May She Wave by Kit Hinrichs and Delphine Hirasuna.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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