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Bao Bao beats Star Spangled Banner flag in Smithsonian popularity contest

Bao Bao, a giant panda at the National Zoo, turns 1 on Aug. 23. One of Bao Bao's favorite places to hang out is a tree in the panda yard at the zoo. (Abby Wood/Smithsonian Institution)

The National Zoo said Tuesday that its Giant Panda cub, Bao Bao, has won the Smithsonian’s “Summer Showdown” online public popularity contest.

Bao Bao’s 13,658 votes easily bested the second place Star Spangled Banner flag, with 10,702 votes.

Folk singer Woody Guthrie’s original recording of “This Land is Your Land,” came in third, and the so-called Lansdowne portrait of George Washington came in fourth.

The Smithsonian said more than 90,000 votes were cast via social media in an informal test of the popularity of 24 of the institution’s best known holdings.

The winning cub turns a year old Saturday.

Mike is a general assignment reporter who also covers Washington institutions and historical topics.


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