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PVH recognized at Star Spangled Banner
Nov '08
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation will be acknowledged for its donation to the conservation of the Star Spangled Banner at Smithsonian's National Museum of American History at a dedication ceremony for the new Star Spangled Banner Gallery on Wednesday, November 19th in Washington, D.C. The original announcement of the $13 million donation, made in 1998, was part of the kick-off of the Save America's Treasures campaign, the centerpiece of the White House new millennium celebration led by former President and Mrs. Clinton.

The flag is the signature project of this campaign, an initiative to preserve and maintain important symbols of America's history. As First Lady, Mrs. Bush has served as Honorary Chair of Save America's Treasures and been an active spokesperson and dedicated advocate for the preservation of our national heritage.

"The flag has always been an inspiration and I wanted to preserve it for our children and generations to come. I was honored when the First Lady, Mrs. Clinton, asked me to help out on this important mission to restore the Star Spangled Banner. Seeing it again preserved in all its glory will remind us of what our country is all about, and the values and beliefs that make this country so great," said Mr. Lauren.

"We are thrilled that with the help of Ralph Lauren, the Star Spangled Banner has been preserved for future generations. He recognized the importance of the Star Spangled Banner, as a national symbol, not only of our values but of our resilience and resolve. Ralph is a true American philanthropist and I could not be more grateful to Ralph and Polo Ralph Lauren for their generosity and their spirit," said Senator Clinton.

The process of conserving the flag began in 1998 and was completed in 2006. The goal of the conservation process was to stabilize the original fabric and clean the flag in order to preserve the original design; the flag was not preserved to look like new. The conservation lab, located in the National Museum of American History was constructed with floor to ceiling windows and beginning in May 1999, where visitors were able to watch the process. More than 12 million guests have visited the lab during the six years that occurred in public view.

Upon commission by the War Department, the flag was hand sewn in 1813 by Mary Pickersgill. Lt. Col. George Armistead hoisted the flag at Fort McHenry on September 14th, 1814 in response to the American victory at the Battle of Baltimore over British forces. Inspired by the battle, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called "By the Dawn's Early Light," set the words to music, and in 1931 the "Star Spangled Banner" became our nation's national anthem. The flag was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1912 by Armistead's family.

"The Star-Spangled Banner is one of our nation's most treasured objects, a symbol of what this country stands for," said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum.

The Star SpangledBanner Gallery will be the centerpiece of the newly renovated National Museum of American History that will reopen to the public on Friday November 21st, 2008.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation

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