2017 Mary Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business

On Friday, March 24, 2017 the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House awarded the fifth annual Mary Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business to Jeannette Kendall, founder and director of Success in Style.

Success In Style (SIS), is a non-profit that helps disadvantaged men and women find employment by providing them with interview attire.  She is a Fashion Institute of Technology trained fashion designer with experience in the NY garment industry.  Her former business, Elegance in Style took her to venues around the country teaching women to be expert consumers of fashion: considering professional needs, color, body type and personal style – an early version of “What Not to Wear”.  She realized that the women who needed her services most could not afford the seminar and so she turned her focus to begin a non-profit to serve the women in her community.  Fifteen years later, SIS has six studios for serving disadvantaged clients (now men and women) in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and four upscale resale boutiques that provide 95% of the funding for the organization–all run solely by an army of dedicated volunteers.  In 2014, Jeannette was recognized by her local Chamber of Commerce as Entrepreneur of the Year for her ability to turn straw into gold for the benefit of the community.  The business model for SIS sells donated items, not used for interview attire, to pay operating expenses and purchase needed items.  The family of stores includes a beautiful resale bridal salon, Cherie Amour.

1964 Star-Spangled Banner Replica Flag Collection Now Online

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is happy to announce that the latest capsule collection, Star-Spangled Banner Flag Replica Collectioncan now be viewed in its entirety via Digital Maryland’s website. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag Replica Collection provides a history of the work that went into creating this replica of the flag that was flown over Fort McHenry after its bombardment on September 14, 1814 during the Battle of Baltimore. The flag replica, started in 1963 and completed in 1964 under the auspices of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, was destined for display at the Maryland pavilion of the New York World’s Fair of 1964-1965. The collection contains both letters leading to the production of the hand-sewn flag replica as well as an American Legion participant’s scrapbook of the work done on the flag replica, including lists of names of participants, photographs, newspaper clippings, and its displays away from the Fair. Click the image below to be taken to the collection home page. 

2017 Scholar Award & Essay Contest is LIVE!

2017 Flag House Scholarship Award 

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore Maryland is a National Historic Landmark and the historic home of Mary Pickersgill, the woman who sewed the Star-Spangled Banner. The Star-Spangled Banner is the giant American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen our national anthem when it flew at Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812.

This year on Flag Day, Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 the Flag House will award the fifth annual Flag 2017-flier-webHouse Scholar Award and a scholarship in the amount of $1,812.00 (generously donated by the National Chapters of the United States Daughters of the War of 1812) to a high school senior to put toward the college of his/her choice. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges as a result of an essay submission.


1. Essay must be no more than 300 words.
2. Essay must be submitted through this form- please do not e-mail or mail your essay.
3. Essay must answer the question posed.
4. Winner must be a high school senior and able to travel to Baltimore to read his/her essay aloud at the Flag House on June 14, 2017.

Submissions will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2017.

To see this year’s question, helpful links, and to submit your essay visit: 2017 Essay Contest

Congratulations to Carla D. Hayden!

Carla D. Hayden, winner of 2015 Mary Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business and CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library since 1993, will become the first woman and the first African-American to oversee the nation’s largest library as head of the Library of Congress. Hayden was nominated by President Barack Obama in February and was confirmed by the Senate on a 7418 vote.

“She moved the Enoch Pratt into the digital age,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat. “She’s a transformational leader.”

Read more at the Baltimore Sun.

Congratulations to Nicole McFadyen!

Path to Excellence Cover, 3.4.16Congratulations to Head Orioles groundskeeper and 2016 Mary Pickersgill Award winner, Nicole McFadyen!

“The no-nonsense head groundskeeper at Oriole Park spends 12 to 14 hours at the park on game days. She was only the second woman head groundskeeper ever on a Major League team and is still one of only two currently in the league.

It is for her leadership in the field, innovative approach and her ability to create opportunities for other women that on March 10 she is receiving the Mary Young Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business.”

See more coverage at The Daily Record and WJZ, WMAR and WBFF

Posters of Summer 2015!

Every Friday over this summer on our Facebook page, we shared a series of posters from the generous gift made by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hall to the Flag House in 1965. Most of the posters were from the World War I and II eras.

Here, we’ve put them all together for viewing and we’re looking forward to sharing more treasures from our collection on social media next summer!

Inaugural Flag House Art Contest!

U.S.D. of 1812 New York State Flag House & Star-Spangled Banner Museum Committee Announces the Inaugural Flag House Art Contest!

Join youthful artists everywhere in the Flag House Art Contest!

Most people do not know who Mary Pickersgill was or why her home, “The Flag House” is important. Mary Pickersgill created the flag in her home, that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner! The goal of this contest is to spread awareness of Mary Pickersgill, The Flag House, the Star Spangled Museum and create cool flag house art.

There will be cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Contest open to K through 12th grade! Winning art to be hung at the Flag House!

See contest rules here and here or contact:
Elfreda Stangland
NYS Flag House & Star-Spangled Banner Museum
Committee Chairman
336 West State Street
Albion,N.Y. 14411
elfreda.stangland@gmail.com | 585-589-1640

Interview with Josephine Caranci

1907Built in 1793, the historic Flag House is the only remaining structure on the block between Pratt and Albemarle Streets. On June 8, we had the distinct pleasure of hosting Josephine Caranci and her family for a private tour in celebration of her 103rd birthday. Born in 1912, Josephine and her family who immigrated to the United States from Italy, resided in the building that once stood along the east wall of the Flag House facing Pratt Street. On the first floor Josephine’s grandfather established a barbershop while the family lived in the rooms above. Listen to the audio below to hear Josephine confess to sneaking along the roof into the attic of the Flag House and memories of the Jonestown neighborhood.

This interview was conducted in the historic Flag House on June 8, 2015. Image is of the Flag House c. 1907.

The Woman on our $10 Bill – Mary Young Pickersgill

Written by:

— Douglas Westfall, American Historian
— Marko Rudela, Author

This theme on the new $10 bill is not about individuals, not about causes, not about race, nor about gender — but about America and America’s freedom. Who better than to represent that ideal than Mary Young, the woman who made America’s Flag: the Star-Spangled Banner.

The new $10 note should revolve around the theme of democracy — freedom. The current portraits on US bills are not about those Americans, nor do they represent those individuals but the portraits do represent America. All of the bills we American’s see daily carry this message.

George Washington is America’s founding Father; Thomas Jefferson crafted America’s Constitution; Abraham Lincoln held America together in a time of crisis; Alexander Hamilton defended America during the Revolutionary War; Andrew Jackson defended America during the War of 1812; Ulysses S. Grant defended America during the Civil War and Benjamin Franklin — created the forerunner of our American Congress.

While there are two notable women on our present-day coinage, the one woman who has been on our currency for over two hundred years, is Miss Liberty. Representing freedom, her image is the theme of the new bills. Yet in this time of change, there will soon be a woman on our $10 bills.

Again, this theme is not about individuals, not about causes, not about race, nor about gender — but about America and America’s freedom. Who better than to represent that ideal than Mary Young, the woman who made America’s Flag, the Star-Spangled Banner. Flag making was in her heritage as her mother made flags as well.

Mary Young’s mother Rebecca Flower Young, made the flags for Washington’s Army — indeed Rebecca made the flag for Washington’s Inauguration. Rebecca worked with Mary and Rebecca’s granddaughter’s Caroline, Eliza, and Margaret along with an indentured African American girl to craft the Great Flag.

Sewing the pieces in her home, this widow with her aged mother and the young girls, then assembled the great flag in a warehouse. It is not that Mary made this one flag, she made dozens — if not hundreds. As did her mother Rebecca before her. It is not that Mary just made the Star-Spangled Banner — she made two.

Mary crafted the Star-Spangled Banner, a 30 x 42 foot garrison flag along with the 17 x 25 foot storm flag, both of which were flown over Fort McHenry. It was this larger garrison flag which Francis Scott Key watched as he wrote his poem during that great battle of 1814 against the British — while he was held prisoner.

That poem which became America’s National Anthem — the song that we all stand to salute our Freedom at nearly every single event today, was written while looking at Mary’s flag. From a Presidential Inauguration to a high school football game, we American’s stand to our national anthem.

We stand for our American Flag and to our National Anthem. We salute our freedom, our country and our flag — and the anthem that comes from battle, the anthem that means freedom — the anthem that comes from the flag of Mary Young. Who better than to represent that ideal of Freedom than Mary Young, the woman who made America’s Flag — the Star-Spangled Banner.