USOC’s ‘Raise Our Flag’ campaign raises nearly $400,000

The U.S. Olympic Committee raised $375,220 with its “Raise Our Flag” campaign, a first-time fundraising effort that encouraged Americans to pay $12 for a stitch in the American flag that will hang in the USA House throughout the London Games.

The flag, which included 29,257 purchased stitches, was unveiled last night at a USOC gala at USA House that was attended by 500 people. The ticketed event cost $300 per person and included a silent and live auction of Olympic memorabilia that raised an additional $61,210 for the USOC.
“This outpouring of support for Team USA ahead of the London Games is a testament to the pride every American feels when our elite athletes represent the U.S. on the biggest stage in sport,” said Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer, in a statement.

Olympian and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was recognized at the event. Attendees included U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Louis Susman, fashion designer Donna Karan, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit and Olympic legends like Carl Lewis and Bob Beamon.

Both the “Raise our Flag” program and the gala were new events for the USOC. The “Raise Our Flag” initiative began on April 18, 100 days before the London Games. The organization released a series of irreverent and humorous digital videos to promote the effort over the last several months.

The flag was stitched by Annin Flagmakers in New Jersey. The last stitch was paid for on July 13 and the flagmakers went to work on the 6-foot-by-10-foot flag. Annin also made the Sept. 11 flag carried by Team USA in the opening ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

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