The North American Vexillological Association and the Chesapeake Bay Flag Association invite you to join us in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area from 1-5 August 2011 for The Washington Flag Congress, the joint meeting of the 24th International Congress of Vexillology and the 45th annual meeting of the North American Vexillological Association. During the Congress, the Fédération internationale des associations vexillologiques (FIAV) will hold the 22nd Session of its General Assembly.
The main Congress venue is the magnificent George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. Begun in 1922 and inspired by the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, the Masonic Memorial is located directly across from the King Street Metro Station and adjacent to historic Old Town Alexandria. Old Town is the oldest section of the city (originally laid out in 1749) and is renowned for its historic town houses, art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. The Congress venue is only a short Metro train ride from the National Mall and other attractions in Washington. The Congress committees are hard at work finalizing the remaining arrangements, including tours of the Washington area’s flag holdings, such as the Smithsonian Institution (Wednesday) and U.S. Naval Academy (optional tour on Saturday following the Congress).
We are pleased that the National Association of Independent Flag Dealers, our colleagues in the flag business, will hold its 2011 annual convention in parallel with the Washington Flag Congress. Meeting at the Embassy Suites, NIFDA will hold its own events Tuesday 2 August through Friday 5 August. Some activities will be shared by both groups (including the All-Congress Tour on Wednesday, 3 August). We look forward to positive interactions. (NIFDA members should contact president James Giraudo for more information.)
The National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution displays some of the most cherished flags of the country’s early days. "Old Glory," Captain William Driver’s famous banner which provided the U.S. flag’s nickname, and the newly-restored Star-Spangled Banner, the inspiration for the National Anthem, are among the hundreds of flags in the collection.
The U.S. Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis, Maryland, houses the United States Navy Trophy Flag Collection. Founded by an Act of Congress in 1814 and given to the care of the Naval Academy in 1849, this collection now totals more than 600 historic American and captured foreign flags. Included are the famous "Don't Give Up the Ship" battle flag flown at the Battle of Lake Erie, the first American ensign flown in Japan (1853), and flags and banners which have been to the Moon.
There's plenty more to do in the Washington Metro area. Discover it for yourself in classic sights like the Library of Congress and the Lincoln Memorial and connect to the energy of interactive attractions like the International Spy Museum and Newseum. You can even visit the landmarks and locations featured in The DaVinci Code author Dan Brown's latest adventure The Lost Symbol as you explore the secret side of the Nation's capital.
This website is the official home of the Washington Flag Congress and will be updated regularly as Congress plans and programs are finalized—so keep checking back! We hope you'll join us in Washington for a vexillologically-interesting week!
HUGH L. BRADY
JOHN A. LOWE