The British Union Jack and the French fleur-de-lis, both seen flying over Point State Park in recent days, weren't evidence of a foreign takeover - not a modern one anyway. They were signs of a crucial period of American history receiving its proper due once again.
The Fort Pitt Museum reopened last weekend with re-enactors, Native Americans and a colonial fair - in short, pomp matching the circumstance. Closed in August because of the state budget crunch, the museum triumphantly reopened not as a state-run entity but under the stewardship of the Heinz History Center.
The museum has a new site director, Alan Gutchess, a lifelong history buff who is well-acquainted with the French and Indian War, the great conflict central to the identity and existence of Fort Pitt at the forks of the Ohio. It has renovated exhibits and new installations and it has new treasures - including two pistols used by officers at Fort Pitt during the American Revolution.
Best of all, it has a new lease on life under the administration of the Heinz History Center, a happy development since its very future was in jeopardy back in the summer. As the opening bore witness, the History Center has made a good start in reviving the museum and seems well positioned to market this important site as it never has been before.
The Fort Pitt Museum has always suffered as a result of being not too visible to visitors and, with its closure for half a year and the parts of the park closed for renovations, the first thing Pittsburghers and visitors need to know is that the museum is back in business daily. Huzzah!