New star-spangled display, sans rockets

Dec. 16, 2007 at 6:41 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Visitors to the National Museum of American History will be able to see the Star-Spangled Banner better than ever thanks to an $85 million renovation project.

Many museum patrons missed the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem in 1814 altogether under the old setup, which had it displayed in a dark room under a screen that opened only briefly each hour, The Washington Times reported Sunday.

When the museum reopens, the public will be able to view the flag in the largest exhibit case in the world, which will be carefully sealed and climate-controlled to preserve it, the newspaper said. Instead of the dark room where it was displayed previously, it will stand in an atrium, with sunlight filtering down from a skylight five floors above.

The changes are part of a massive museum overhaul that aims to turn the museum, often called "America's attic" into a more cohesive portrayal of the nation's history. The first phase of renovations, including the new flag display, is scheduled to be completed next summer.

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