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Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History reopens after major renovations

As you mount a shallow ramp in the heart of the Smithsonian's newly renovated National Museum of American History (NMAH), your eyes dilate in the dimming light. Turn left and there lies the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag designed with 15 stars and 15 stripes, so close that it seems you could reach out and touch its tattered fly edge. It's tattered because one star and many, many swatches—about eight-feet worth—were cut away and sold for souvenirs before this surviving 30-by-34-foot icon came to the Smithsonian for safekeeping. Read more »