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PHILADELPHIA'S STRIPES AND STARS FESTIVAL COMMEMORATES JOINT BIRTHDAYS OF THE U.S. FLAG AND ARMY

PHILADELPHIA, June 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From star-spangled banners to five-star generals, Philadelphia celebrates the shared birthday of two of our country's greatest institutions—the American flag and the U.S. Army! This year's Stripes and Stars Festival will take place on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at locations throughoutIndependence National Historical Park and Historic Philadelphia, including Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, and the National Constitution Center, which will feature $5 admission, courtesy of Macy's.Events include flag raising ceremonies, a patriotic parade, giant flag folding demonstrations, and a moving naturalization ceremony.



The festival begins with a 13-star flag raising ceremony at the Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street, at 10 a.m. Following the 13-star flag raising, at 10:30 a.m. a moving flag raising ceremony of the United States 50-star flag will take place on the National Constitution Center's front lawn, 525 Arch Street. A patriotic parade of troops—past and present—will then take place across Independence Mall.

During a special 11 a.m. ceremony in front of Independence Hall proclamations will be read celebrating both the American flag and the U.S. Army. Future soldiers will take the oath of enlistment, and a keynote address will be made by Command Sergeant Major David S. Davenport Sr. of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Following the ceremony, visitors on Independence Mall will have the opportunity to witness a spectacular display by the Team Fastrax Skydiving Team, presented in partnership with the Spirit of Liberty Foundation.

At 12:30pm, the Philadelphia Flag Day Association will conduct its 73rd Annual Flag Day Ceremony at the Betsy Ross House, where guests can watch as thirteen newly naturalized Americans take the Oath of Allegiance in this traditional, patriotic event featuring a Color Guard, flag folding ceremony, and the reading of Philadelphia City Council's Official Flag Day Proclamation."

The National Constitution Center will host an array of fun and educational activities including arts and crafts, historic games, and American flag etiquette workshops.

Daylong activities at the Betsy Ross House include children's craft activities, Flag Fest Fotos and, of course, the opportunity to meet America's most famous flag maker in person. Activities are free. Tour the House, meet Betsy and see the new exhibit, Museum in the Making for just $5.

Admission to the Christ Church Burial Ground will be free from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Regular admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children.

Other events include a special program at Christ Church at 1:30 p.m. and an oversized American flag folding demonstrations in front of Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center.

Throughout the day, families can stop by a Stripes and Stars Community Fair on Independence Mall, where organizations including Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, Redball Military Transport Club, and the Pennsylvania National Guard will have special displays and activities at tables for children and families. Military vehicles, including a World War II Era Jeep, will be on display!

Most Stripes and Stars Festival programs are free to attend. The National Constitution Center is offering discounted $5 museum admission on June 14, courtesy of Macy's, as part of a series of Macy's Family Days. Admission to Betsy Ross House also is $5.

For a full schedule of events, visit constitutioncenter.org/stripesandstars.

Facebook: facebook.com/StripesStarsPHL.

Featured Stripes and Stars partner organizations include: Philadelphia Flag Day Association, William Penn Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), City of Philadelphia, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., National Constitution Center, Independence National Historical Park, Christ Church, Spirit of Liberty Foundation, Team Fastrax, Pennsylvania National Guard, Redball Military Transport Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution (Philadelphia Continental Chapter).

Origins of U.S. Flag and U.S. Army Commemorations

Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for an official national Flag Day observance. Then in 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. The United States Army also celebrates its birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" on June 14, 1775.

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the Museum of We the People, America's Town Hall, and a Headquarters for Civic Education. As the Museum of We the People, the National Constitution Center brings the United States Constitution to life for visitors of all ages and inspires active citizenship by celebrating the American constitutional tradition. The museum features interactive exhibitions, engaging theatrical performances, and original documents of freedom. As the only institution established by Congress to "disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis," the National Constitution Center serves as a Headquarters for Civic Education—offering cutting-edge learning resources including the premier online Interactive Constitution. As America's Town Hall, the National Constitution Center hosts timely conversations about the Constitution uniting thought leaders from all sides of the debate. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.

About Independence National Historical Park

A unit of the National Park Service, Independence National Historical Park was created by an Act of Congress on June 28, 1948. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Independence NHP covers almost 54 acres in Philadelphia's Old City, and includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, Franklin Court, and other historic buildings associated with the founding of the United States. The park is open from 9:00 am daily with the exception of Christmas day. A visit to IndependenceNationalHistoricalPark should start at the IndependenceVisitorCenter, located at 6th and Market Streets. Here, visitors can pick up a park brochure, park map, and the free, timed tickets required for Independence Hall. For more information visit the park's website, http://www.nps.gov/inde or follow us at twitter.com/independencenhp.

About the Betsy Ross House and Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

The Betsy Ross House is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for children/students/seniors/active military. Don't miss the new exhibit, A Museum in the Making: The American Flag House & Betsy Ross Memorial Association, 1898-1941, in the House's gallery.

The Eighth annual Stars & Stripes Saturday at the Betsy Ross House will be held Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event features daylong family entertainment, including the Give & Take Jugglers, Professor Horn's Punch & Judy Show, the Funicular Aerial Circus, the Mummers' String Band Connection, carnival games and activities for children, plus the new Flag Fest Foto Booth. $5 admission, includes House tours.

The Betsy Ross House is managed by Historic Philadelphia, Inc. HPI enhances the visitor experience and helps strengthen Philadelphia's tourism industry through interpretation and interaction, making our nation's history relevant and real. Historic Philadelphia, Inc.'s other programs include the Liberty 360 3D Show in the PECO Theater, Once Upon A Nation storytelling, living history tours and Franklin Square. For more information, call (215) 629-4026 or visit www.historicphiladelphia.org.

About the Philadelphia Flag Day Association

The Philadelphia Flag Day Association (PFDA) was founded in 1934 as a patriotic nonprofit to promote the celebration of Flag Day and respect for the United States Flag - remaining the nation's oldest continually operating organization commemorating Flag Day. Over its 82-year history, PFDA has stayed true to its mission, but expanded its reach to invite the Betsy Ross House, Independence National Historic Park, and, more recently, the National Constitution Center and City of Philadelphia to celebrate both Flag Day and the Birth of the US Army.
PFDA funds and produces a number of educational outreach programs about the Nation's Flag and cosponsors, with the City's Fire Department, Philadelphia's official 9-11 commemoration. In 2007, PFDA established its Collection of Historic American Flags and Banners, a growing assemblage of almost 200 historic American flags, banners, and related items - portions of which have been displayed throughout the region. PFDA's additional flag collections include those of 9-11 and a Support Our Troops collection with flags/banners from the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars, War in Afghanistan, and pieces expressing general support for the United States Military.

About the Association of the United States Army, William Penn Chapter

Since 1950, the Association of the United States Army has worked to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America's Army and all the men and women who serve.
AUSA is a private, non-profit, professional, and educational organization that supports America's Army - Active, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees, Government Civilians, Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and family members. AUSA provides numerous educational and professional development opportunities at a variety of events, on both the local and national levels.
The William Penn Chapter of AUSA serves the Greater Philadelphia region and is a founding co-sponsor of the Stripes and Stars Festival, celebrating the Army's Birthday and Flag Day.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33631

CONTACT: For the National Constitution Center Contact: Molly Stieber, 215-568-2525, mstieber@devineandpartners.com For Independence National Historical Park Contact: Jane Cowley, (215) 597-0060, jane_cowley@nps.gov For the Betsy Ross House and Historic Philadelphia, Inc. Contact: Heather Kincade, 267.278.1505, heather@historicphiladelphia.org

Source: National Constitution Center