The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Welcome to the Flag House, home of Mary Young Pickersgill craftswoman of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is a historic home and museum located at 844 E.
(116)

Pratt St. in Baltimore Maryland. Mrs. Pickersgill was an American patriot and a Baltimore citizen. She sewed the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that flew over Baltimore harbor after the Battle of Baltimore and inspired a young man named Francis Scott Key to write the American national anthem in honor of her flag. Now, her home is a National Historic Landmark, open to the public five days a week.

Operating as usual

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
01/06/2021

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

#onthisday January 6, 1809 – Ten-year-old African American Grace Wisher entered into a six-year indentured contract with Mary Pickersgill to "learn the art and mystery of Housework and plain sewing.”

Grace had been indentured as an apprentice by her mother, Jenny Wisher, who was a free African American. The terms of Grace’s indenture were fairly standard, with Mary promising to provide food, shelter, and clothing, and to teach Grace “the art of Housework and plain sewing.” Mary also promised to pay Grace’s mother $12 at the beginning and end of the indenture, and in exchange, Grace promised to faithfully serve and obey Mary for six years.

Up until 1817, the law required that apprentices receive at least a rudimentary education during their indenture, but this provision was often ignored when it came to African American children. Additionally, some indenture arrangements substituted a cash payment in the place of educational instruction. Grace’s indenture contract did not require Mary to provide reading and writing instruction. In contrast, Mary Pickersgill did promise to provide such an education to her white apprentice in 1814, 13-year-old Mary Ann Martin.

Grace’s work would have included household chores, such as food preparation, laundry, and cleaning, and she likely performed this alongside the one enslaved person, who was likely a woman known to be part of the Pickersgill household.

Since the indenture terms meant that Grace would have also participated in sewing activities, it is widely believed that Grace assisted in the creation of the Star-Spangled Banner flag in 1813. At this point, Grace would have been five years into her apprenticeship, and Pickersgill most likely would have drawn upon her skills to assist in such a massive undertaking.

Learn more: https://www.nps.gov/fomc/learn/historyculture/grace-wisher.htm

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
National Museum of American History

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
12/26/2020

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

#onthisday December 26, 1812: Great Britain declares a blockade of the #Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. For the next two years, American privateers--who had been successfully disrupting British shipping--and merchant vessels must now try to evade the blockade to leave the Chesapeake.

#Warof1812 Pride of Baltimore II

[image: colored illustration of three American wooden ships sailing on choppy waters. In the background are other vessels under sail.]

Wishing you a very merry holiday from the Flag House.
12/17/2020

Wishing you a very merry holiday from the Flag House.

❄️❄️ The Flag House will be closed for the remainder of the day due to the winter storm, but we'll see you tomorrow! Tim...
12/16/2020

❄️❄️ The Flag House will be closed for the remainder of the day due to the winter storm, but we'll see you tomorrow! Timed tickets can be purchased at flaghouse.org. Stay safe and warm. ❄️❄️

You can make an impact while you shop for Black Friday deals.Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0591490 and AmazonSmi...
11/27/2020

You can make an impact while you shop for Black Friday deals.
Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0591490 and AmazonSmile will donate to Star Spangled Banner Flag House Association Incorporated, at no cost to you.

Make a difference this holiday. Support the Star Spangled Banner Flag House and check out our AmazonSmile Charity Lists ...
11/21/2020

Make a difference this holiday. Support the Star Spangled Banner Flag House and check out our AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate items we need most.: https://rb.gy/jy5exg

Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.
11/20/2020

Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.

11/20/2020
www.flaghouse.org

The Flag House will be closed to the public today, Friday, November 20, and tomorrow, Saturday, November 21, for general cleaning in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We are sorry for any inconvenience and will post reopening information shortly. For up to date information and ticketing, visit www.flaghouse.org or call 410.837.1793.

Make a difference this holiday. Shop for gifts at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0591490 to generate donations for Star-Spangled...
11/14/2020

Make a difference this holiday. Shop for gifts at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0591490 to generate donations for Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association Incorporated and check out our AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate items we need most.

11/13/2020
Baltimore National Heritage Area

Support the Flag House and other Baltimore area museums and attractions this holiday season from the comfort of your own home.

The Flag House's custom Vineyard Vines 100% silk ties along with other select gift shop items are available for shipping or pick up.

https://www.explorebaltimore.org/page/bnha-2020-holiday-online-bazaar

BNHA is supporting our partners this holiday season! Purchase your favorite Baltimore-themed gift items today at - https://www.explorebaltimore.org/page/bnha-2020-holiday-online-bazaar.

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum
844 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-837-1793
IG: @SSBFlagHouse
FB: TheStarSpangledBannerFlagHouse

The Flag House is saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Raymond Kirkland, our dear friend and long-time volunteer who ...
11/12/2020

The Flag House is saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Raymond Kirkland, our dear friend and long-time volunteer who maintained the Flag House Rose Garden. It is fitting that today’s Facebook memories are of these beautiful roses Raymond grew in 2016. In 2002, after the original rose garden was removed during the Hofmeister Building construction, he stepped in to purchase, plant, and maintain the rose garden with 15 patriotically named rose plants, his favorite being Bronze Star. In 2005, he helped to develop and hybridize the Mary Pickersgill Rose. Raymond was a member of the Maryland Rose Society and former Baltimore City Public School teacher.

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
11/12/2020

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Just over a hundred years before #VeteransDay was established in 1919, the first annual #DefendersDay event was held in 1815 to recognize the people who fought in the battles of North Point and Baltimore during the #Warof1812. Defenders Day continued to be celebrated each year with parades, artillery salutes, speeches and performances until the last veteran passed away at the end of the 19th century.

The Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland was organized on September 12, 1892 by the veterans' descents to annually commemorate the holiday and keep the "Old Defenders" stories alive.

Learn more about this holiday:
https://maryland1812.com/category/citizen-soldiers/page/2/
https://baltimoreheritage.org/battle-of-baltimore/

[image: Group portrait of "Old Defenders" from the Battle of Baltimore, 1880. The group of men is seated before a set of stairs in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD, and each holds a top hat in his lap and cane in hand.

George Roberts, a free African American from Canton, was a gunner on the privateer CHASSEUR in 1814 and took part in several battles while at sea. Roberts proudly participated in Baltimore’s annual War of 1812 Defenders Day parades until his death at 95.

Both images from the Maryland Center for History and Culture]

On Sunday, November 11, 1928, trustees of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association host a formal reception to cel...
11/11/2020

On Sunday, November 11, 1928, trustees of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association host a formal reception to celebrate the public opening of the Flag House as a museum.

Also in attendance are members of the Milio family, the last residents of the Flag House. Mr. Placido Milio immigrated from Italy to Boston and then to Baltimore in 1908 to work as a pharmacy assistant for Dr. Giampetro's medical dispensary in the Flag House. The Milios lived and operated several businesses, including a bank and steamship ticket office from the Flag House's first floor until 1927.

After the Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Celebration in 1914, Arthur and Ruthella Bibbins initiated a fundraising campaign to save the Flag House with plans to open it patriotic historic site. Falling short of their fundraising goal, Baltimore City stepped in to purchase the house in 1927 for $5,000.

What did an election ticket look like 137 years ago?In 1883, the Maryland Democratic Party nominated McLane to be the ne...
11/03/2020

What did an election ticket look like 137 years ago?
In 1883, the Maryland Democratic Party nominated McLane to be the next Governor of Maryland. In the election, McLane handily defeated his Republican opponent, Hart Benton Holton, by 12,000 votes. During his tenure, several notable pieces of legislation were passed, including the establishment of the Bureau of Statistics and Labor Information and the establishment of a universal time standard throughout the state. McLane only served as governor for slightly over a year, from January 8, 1884, until his resignation on March 27, 1885, after his appointment by President Grover Cleveland as United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France.

Permanent Collection of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

Election Day was instituted by Congress in 1845, as "the Tuesday after the first Monday in November." Before the federal law was passed, states could hold elections within a 34-day window before the first Wednesday in December. Why Tuesday? Tuesday was considered the most convenient day of the week, as it wouldn't interfere with religious observations on Sunday or market days.

Polls in Maryland are open today from 7 am to 8 pm. Need to confirm your polling place? Visit https://elections.maryland.gov/
#ElectionDay #GoVote

The Flag House is proud to have donated to the Love for London Town online auction, which supports Historic London Town ...
10/31/2020

The Flag House is proud to have donated to the Love for London Town online auction, which supports Historic London Town and Gardens. Check it out at www.charityauction.bid/historiclondontown from November 7 - 13.

"This handsome, spacious edifice, adjoining Franklin Square, recently completed through the exertions of our charitable ...
10/28/2020

"This handsome, spacious edifice, adjoining Franklin Square, recently completed through the exertions of our charitable citizens, being in readiness for the reception of the deserving class for whom it is intended, was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies this morning between the hours of 11 and 12 o'clock." - "The Aged Women's Home," Republican Daily Argus, October 28, 1851

By 1851, Mary Pickersgill had served for twenty-three years as president of the Impartial Female Humane Society, successfully growing the organization into one of Baltimore's largest charities.

Opened at Lexington Street and Franklin Square, the Aged Women's Home was the product of the hard work and dedication of the Lady Managers of the Impartial Female Humane Society to educating and caring for Baltimore's impoverished and widowed women citizens.

The Aged Women's Home was the first building erected at Franklin Square, and to its five new residents, the location would have seemed like an escape to the countryside. Designed by architect Thomas Dixon, in the Gothic Tudor style and constructed at the cost of $17,206.62, the grandness of the building was thought to inspire and uplift the residents out of poverty.

The Home had all the comforts that could be offered in 1851, a modern kitchen, infirmary, and each resident had her own chamber on the second floor and opened to a view of the entrance hall, a rocking chair was placed outside each door.

Strict rules for admission required residents to be at least 60 years old with no husband or children, two responsible persons to approach for the applicant's character, a $100 admission fee, and could provide for herself a "good" dress for summer and one for winter.

Following the addition of a men's facility in 1865, the Aged Women and Men's Homes stood at Lexington and Franklin square until 1959 when the residents were moved to Towson. The homes were renamed the Pickersgill Retirement Community in honor of Mary Pickersgill.

Images were taken from Pilling, Ron and Pat. Pickersgill Retirement Community: Two Centuries of Service to Baltimore 1802-2002.
Towson, Maryland: Pickersgill Retirement Community, 2002.

10/27/2020
Five Minute Histories: The Star Spangled Banner Flag House

Thank you to Johns and Baltimore Heritage for including the Flag House as part of the popular Five Minute Histories series. Join Baltimore Heritage by dawns early light as they explore the history of the Flag House and Mary Young Pickersgill.

Welcome to a new week of videos! For today’s episode, we explore the work, life, and home of Mary Pickersgill. Please enjoy this Five Minute Histories video ...

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
10/23/2020

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Happy Commissioning Day to the Pride of Baltimore II! #Onthisday, October 23, 1988, PRIDE was officially commissioned in Fells Point, Baltimore.

We are excited to be partnering with PRIDE to be the Trail's sailing ambassador! Great things to come!

[image: Tall ship sails by Fort McHenry; photo credit: Jeffrey G. Katz]

The Flag House is now accepting submissions to the 2021 Scholar Award and Essay Contest. The ninth annual Star-Spangled ...
10/23/2020
EmailMe Form - 2021 Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Scholar Award

The Flag House is now accepting submissions to the 2021 Scholar Award and Essay Contest.

The ninth annual Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Scholar Award, "Living Through a Historic Moment," will be given this year on Flag Day, June 14th, 2021. The Flag House will award the Flag House Scholarship for $1,812.00 to a Maryland high school senior to put toward the college of their choice.

Use the link below to access the 2021 contest rules and essay prompt.

A National Historic Landmark in BaltimoreToday, Monday, October 19, marks the 50th anniversary of the Flag House's dedic...
10/19/2020

A National Historic Landmark in Baltimore

Today, Monday, October 19, marks the 50th anniversary of the Flag House's dedication as a National Historic Landmark.

Monday, October 19, 1970, trustees, staff, and honored guests of the Flag House host a dedication ceremony, marking the occasion by installing the landmark plaque.

Images:
Mr. Jean Hofmeister, President of the Board of Directors and Mrs. Mary Paulding Martin, Director of the Flag House

Mrs. Thomas D'Alesandro III and Mrs. Barbara Oberfeld Mandel

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House National Historic Landmark Plaque (1970)

Ceremony Program, National Historic Landmark Designation, October 19, 1970

10/16/2020
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Wall Repairs | Part 2

Part 2 of our wall reconstruction project with BaltimoreCity Dgs, The Durable Restoration Company, and G Krug and Son .

In this Part 2, Jackson Gilman-Forlini tells us about the structure of the Flag House fence and also gives us a glimpse of the damaged iron. /// Huge thank y...

10/16/2020
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Wall Repairs | Part 1

You might have noticed a flurry of activity at the southwest corner of the Flag House's courtyard over the last couple of months. Back in May, a car accident left our wall in bad shape. Thank you to BaltimoreCity Dgs, The Durable Restoration Company, and G Krug and Son for putting the pieces back together. Check out this great video from DGS' Jackson Gilman-Forlini about the project.

Nothing can keep the Flag House down. Due to a recent car crash, a portion of the brick and iron fence surrounding the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House was de...

#OTD 163 years ago, Mary Young Pickersgill died at her home at age 81. "On Sunday, 4th inst., Mrs. Mary Pickersgill, age...
10/04/2020

#OTD 163 years ago, Mary Young Pickersgill died at her home at age 81.

"On Sunday, 4th inst., Mrs. Mary Pickersgill, aged 8[1] years. The friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral on this [Monday] afternoon, from her late residence." - Baltimore Sun, October 1857

A tribute to Mary Pickersgill is added to the pages of the Young family Bible and serves as one of the only accounts of her in life: "The subject of this tribute to departed was born in the City of Philadelphia on the 12th day of February, 1776, a year made remarkable in the pages of history by the glorious declaration of independence. Associated by family tress with those who took an active part in releasing their country from the thraldom of British tyranny, she imbibed the feelings of true patriotism and was remarkable for her devoted love of country. She loved to dwell upon her country's history, and frequently contributed to the edification and pleasure of her friends by narrating many shocking and interesting events connected with the heroes of '76. In intellect, she was vivacious and spirited and being naturally endowed with extraordinary perceptive facilities, she was ever ready to properly fulfill her station in life. Her remarkably even and cheerful disposition always rendered her the most agreeable companion, and even to her last days she retained this happy faculty of making friends."

Mary Pickersgill's gravesite is located in Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore City.

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
09/20/2020

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine

Here at Fort McHenry and across the National Park Service, the Star-Spangled Banner flies at half-mast to honor the service of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court. The custom of lowering the national ensign helps us all as a nation and community to recognize a shared loss. It encourages us to pause and acknowledge the work of our fellow Americans. It is fitting that Justice Ginsburg is recognized here at “the home of the brave.” Despite her quiet manner, she was a fierce advocate not only for gender equality but for equal rights for all as they are guaranteed by the 14th Amendment on the Constitution of the United States. Often in the face of considerable opposition, her dedication to challenging discrimination and longstanding gender biases, and her frequent dissents used to support the concept of equality both exemplify the virtues of bravery and devotion to community that we celebrate every day at Fort McHenry. The flag over the fort today recognizes the passing of Justice Ginsburg, but her bravery and legacy will endure and continue to inspire as we reflect upon her encouragement to “fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”


#WomensEquality
#WomensHistoryEveryDay
#BeyondThe19th
#FindYourPark

Images: Today's flag at half mast. NPS

Address

844 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD
21202

2 blocks from the Charm City Circulator

General information

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is a historic home and museum located at 844 E. Pratt St. in Baltimore Maryland. This 225 year old structure is restored to its 1813 glory. Tour the Flag House, visit the museum and spend a day with Mrs. Pickersgill and her family.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(410) 837-1793

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Our Story

Opened to the public in 1928, the historic Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum preserves the 1793 structure and interprets the life of Mary Young Pickersgill a nineteenth-century female entrepreneur and craftswoman of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag that inspired the National Anthem. In 1927, the historic structure was purchased by Baltimore City with the intent to preserve the house for future generations as the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner flag and in 1970 it was named a National Historic Landmark. Today, the historic house and museum are open Tuesday through Saturday for public tours. Visit our website (www.flaghouse.org) or Facebook calendar for more information on upcoming programs and events.