"Mending the Flag," Norman Rockwell, 1922. Cover illustration for "Literary Digest," May 27, 1922. Norman Rockwell Digital Collections. ©NRELC: Niles, IL.

"Mending the Flag," Norman Rockwell, 1922. Cover illustration for "Literary Digest," May 27, 1922. Norman Rockwell Digital Collections. ©NRELC: Niles, IL.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer– an exciting time for programs and exhibitions here at Norman Rockwell Museum! It is also a holiday where we honor American service members who have died while serving in the military. The day was first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, and extended after World War I to pay tribute to all Americans who have died in wars. Today many Americans remember all loved ones during the holiday.
On May 27, 1922, Norman Rockwell’s Mending the Flag was published on the cover of The Literary Digest, one of his earliest clients. A beautiful oil painting, the illustration alludes to Betsy Ross, the famous seamstress of the American flag. On the table next to the woman is a soldier’s hat; other details include a bird cage and light filtering through the nearby window, signifying the summer months ahead.
From 1918 to 1923, Rockwell produced 47 covers for Literary Digest magazine. His topical images for the current events weekly portrayed a rich cross-section of American society. Sadly, the original painting for Mending the Flag was destroyed by fire on May 30, 1982 at Lucien’s Tavern, Berlin Township, New Jersey.
Find more patriotic Rockwell art in the Museum’s Store!
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