LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Smithsonian organizations are engaging in some serious smack talk as they battle to win the “most iconic” title during the Smithsonian Summer Showdown.

Objects (and Bao Bao the panda cub) were broken down into four categories for the bracket-style competition: science, history, art and culture.

Items duking it out included the T. rex skeleton from the National Museum of Natural History, the Space Shuttle Discovery from the Air and Space Museum and a segregation-era southern railway car from the National Museum of African American
History and Culture.

Now, it’s down to the final round: Bao Bao versus the Star-Spangled Banner versus the George Washington portrait versus a Woody Guthrie recording of “This Land Is Your Land.”

Interested parties can vote online for their favorite, and the Twitter accounts of the organizations that house the potential winners are not holding back when it comes to trashing each other’s entries.

“Pandas mean a lot to us, @NationalZoo,” the American History Museum tweeted Thursday. “But we’re proud of Rev. War & War of 1812 victories.”

“You survived a 2.5 yr war?” the National Zoo account replied. “That’s cute. Pandas fight extinction & habitat loss daily.”

Meanwhile, Smithsonian Folkways, representing the Guthrie recording, wrote “Pandas use a vestigial thumb to grip food, but they can’t play guitar. Vote Woody!”

Not to be outdone, the Portrait Gallery asked “Since when does cute beat patriotic?” and urged people to “Vote historical stuff over fluff!”

Check out the hashtag #SIShowdown on Twitter to see the rest of the verbal war.


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