June 17, 2014 1:49 pm

Smithsonian honours Ralph Lauren for 5 decades in fashion

Ralph Lauren holds up the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal after being presented with the award by Hillary Clinton (L) at the National Museum of American History June 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Lauren was presented the award during a citizenship ceremony welcoming 15 new Americans for his contributions to the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Ralph Lauren’s love for the American flag and American style has earned him honours from the Smithsonian Institution.

On Tuesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will help present the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal to the designer at the National Museum of American History.

Clinton and Lauren joined forces in 1998 to raise money to preserve the original “Star Spangled Banner” flag that inspired the national anthem.

Lauren is known for designs that have defined American fashion and for his patriotic uniforms for U.S. Olympic athletes. He was born in 1939 to immigrant parents in the Bronx, New York, and got his start selling ties at the Empire State Building.

The Smithsonian is honouring Lauren “for his embodiment of the American experience through fashion, design and philanthropy.”

© The Associated Press, 2014

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