The storied blue sash worn by George Washington during the Revolutionary War has gone on display at Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution.
The sash, on loan from Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Ethnography and Archaeology, was rediscovered several years ago by Dr. Philip Mead, chief historian and director of curatorial affairs at the Museum of the American Revolution. Mead found the artifact at the Peabody Museum, where it had essentially been hidden in plain sight for decades. Although the sash was suspected to have belonged to Washington, it had never been confirmed, according to the Museum of the American Revolution.
“I was amazed. I thought, could this really be the sash that Washington wore on the early battlefields of the Revolutionary War?” Mead told Fox News, via email. “Where has it been all these years? The truth was even more exciting than I dared to hope.”
Mead spent years studying the sash before concluding that it was indeed the one worn by Washington.
The sash, which is on display until Oct. 9, is featured with a 1776 portrait of Washington by Philadelphia artist Charles Willson Peale, which depicts him wearing the sash. The portrait is on loan from the Brooklyn Museum.
The Museum of the American Revolution notes that when Washington first took command of the Continental Army in 1775 there was no standard uniform or insignia for officers. The new Commander-in-Chief needed something to distinguish himself from his fellow officers so he chose a blue silk sash, or ribbon, that he wore across his chest.