On exhibit: The American flags you never knew

- The American flag stars in its own exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center.  "American Flags: The Stars & Stripes in American History & Culture" is a tribute to the history of our nation's banner.

There are more than 20 flags to view, with some more wild than others.  That’s because the first flags were an ever-changing and loosely interpreted assortment of hand-sewn pennants. 

The display is on loan from the personal collection of Dr. Peter Keim. It includes originals from 1791 and the 27-star flag that marked Florida’s admission into the Union.

“I think Flag Day is an opportunity for us to really embrace the flag and recognize the flag and see it for the freedom it represents in our country, but also some of the faults that we have in our country over the course of the past 240-plus years of our country’s history,” explained Rodney Kite-Powell, curator of history at the history center.

The exhibit also features iconic photographs of the flag, such as the 2001 Ground Zero flag-raising by several FDNY firefighters.

“The meaning and the passion that people have behind the flag, I think, is what really drives the flag’s presence in artwork and popular culture going forward,” added Kite-Powell.

The exhibit is on display at the Tampa Bay History Center through July.

LINK: For more information, visit www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/on-view-now

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