Star-Spangled Banner Undergoes Restoration

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The Star-Spangled Banner undergoes restoration by being placed on a backing of heavy, unbleached Irish linen. The restoration was carried out under the direction of Amelia Fowler, who had experience in this type of work. The fragments of the flag were attached to the linen with a series of open buttonhole stitches about 1/2 inch in length, interlocked horizontally and vertically. With the flag attached to the linen, the flag could be hung without strain on the flag itself. The flag was first loaned to the United States National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution July 9, 1907, by Eben Appleton, grandson of Major George Armistead, the defender of Fort McHenry. In 1912 Appleton decided to make a permanent gift of the flag to the museum "with the firm and settled intention of having it remain there forever...."


  • Fowler, Amelia
  • Armistead, George 1780-1818
  • Appleton, Eben
  • Star-Spangled Banner (Flag)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • United States National Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Museum of History and Technology. Star-Spangled Banner. Smithsonian Institution special publication 4529. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, [1964].

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Conservation and restoration
  • Preservation
  • Restoration
  • Fort McHenry (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Flags

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