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Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

Visit the former residence of Mary Young Pickersgill, a gifted seamstress known for making the star-spangled banner flag in the early 19th century.

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is a historical museum in eastern downtown Baltimore. The museum celebrates the making of the large garrison flag that flew over the area in 1812 and the significant history that followed its creation. The flag, crafted by Mary Pickersgill, is famous for inspiring amateur poet Francis Scott Key to write the lyrics to the United States’ national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Learn the history of the house on a guided tour. In the early 19th century, the structure served as Mary Pickersgill’s residence and business. She lived in the building with her daughter and her mother, Rebecca Young, noted for starting the flag-making business. Pickersgill became famous for creating the garrison flag that Francis Scott Key saw flying victoriously over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association established the museum after the city of Baltimore purchased the house in 1927. Family of Flagmakers: The Women Who Created the Star-Spangled Banner is a permanent exhibit that focuses on seamstress Mary Pickersgill and her family. Try to hoist the weight of the flag in one of the exhibit’s interactive areas.

See many Pickersgill-Young family artifacts, including 19th-century furniture, photographs and documents. Events for children, including flag-making workshops and cooking programs, are often hosted at the museum. The Flag House also presents awards, including the Mary Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business, a prize honoring women who’ve made significant contributions to the community.

Find the museum near the Little Italy and Jonestown neighborhoods of eastern downtown Baltimore. Obtain a parking permit from the front desk for free street parking. Visit the museum Tuesday to Saturday, year-round. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is close to other great attractions, including the Historic Ships in Baltimore collection of military vessels in the Inner Harbor.

Spend a few hours at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House to learn about life in 19th-century Baltimore and discover the origins of the United States’ flag and national anthem.


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