Amazing ‘Long May She Wave’ Museum Exhibit Explores Old Glory

An amazing new museum exhibit explores Old Glory by taking a closer look at some very old American flags

When you think of the United States, what comes to mind? Maybe, a bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, or amber waves of gain? All those symbols might come up eventually, but an American Flag is one of (if not the) most prominent icon for the USA.

The American flag is not only ubiquitous, but it’s also changed over time to adapt to a growing and changing country. The Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky decided to capture this unique and patriotic history in their newest exhibit dedicated to Old Glory, called Long May She Wave.

“Historically, it’s the only flag, to my knowledge in the world, that has change built into it, in that the number of stars that it has depends on the number of states that it has and may have in the future,” says Hinricks. “As a designer, things that run variations on a theme are very important to what we’re always trying to solve in communications problems.”

'By Land or By Sea' Flag
This flag from Kit Hinricks’ collection flew during the Civil War, after which it adorned a ship in the Asiatic fleet, and was captured by the Koreans during a skirmish. When the flag was re-captured, the marines who saved it emblazoned it with “By Land or By Sea.”

Kit Hinricks is the main graphic designer featured in the exhibit. Hinricks chose to focus his art on the American flag due to its design which is endlessly adaptable. That was a very appealing trait for the designer.

The flag collection began with one very old and special 1865 version of the American flag. The flag has 36 stars and was actually sewn by hand by Hinrick’s great-great-great-great aunt. As a family heirloom, the flag is very emotionally significant to Hinrick.

In fact, since that first flag Hinrick’s has grown his flag collection to over 5,000 flags and flag-inspired artifacts. He possesses everything from real flags, to political memorabilia, stamps and more.

What is the oldest piece of history in Hinrick’s collection? Dating all the way back to pre-Civil War times, he has a US flag that includes California among the state stars. But to Hinricks, age isn’t what intrigues him the most about his flags, its one-of-a-kind artifacts and hand-made heirlooms that catch his eye.

On top of being a graphic designer, Kit is also an author of two books, “Stars and Stripes: Ninety-Six Top Designers  and Graphic Artists Offer Their Personal Interpretations of Old Glory,” and “Long May She Wave: A Graphic History of the American Flag.”

Source: WFPL News

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