The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House allows you to step into living history and immerse yourself in one of the most riveting stories in our nation’s history – the creation of the American flag.
Built in 1793, the Flag House was once the home and business place of Mary Pickersgill, who sewed the garrison flag Francis Scott Key witnessed flying over Fort McHenry that inspired him to write our national anthem. Pickersgill, her mother, Rebecca Young – who began their flag-making business – and Mary’s daughter, Caroline, moved into the house in 1806.
The house was sold to the city of Baltimore in 1927, and the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association established a museum inside the home. Today, the house retains much of its original character, showcasing many early 19th century objects that belonged to the Young-Pickersgill family. Families and visitors of all ages can participate in interactive activities, as well as take advantage of special programs offered throughout the year.
Featured exhibits located in the museum building include a discovery gallery for children, where kids can design a flag and fly it on the gallery’s flagpole, cook at a replica of the Flag House kitchen and more. The first floor permanent exhibition gallery showcases “Preserv’d Us A Nation,” an exhibit that highlights the brave defense of Baltimore’s ordinary citizens during the War of 1812. The exhibit features a fragment of the Star-Spangled Banner flag, a drum used by an American soldier during the bombardment of Fort McHenry and more. Self-guided and docent-led tours of the historic house are available throughout the week.
The Flag House’s most current permanent exhibit is “Family of Flagmakers: The Women Who Created the Star-Spangled Banner,” the first of its kind in history that focuses on the life of Mary Pickersgill, her family, household and neighborhood. It includes several interactive areas, including a station where you can measure yourself against the two foot stars, touch reproduction fabric and attempt to hoist the flag's weight.
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Experience the Flag House and other great Baltimore historical attractions with the Star-Spangled Banner Pass, which can be purchased here.