The War Flags Collection at USArt

War Flags Collection

Throughout history, soldiers have carried flags as symbols of their unit and the larger nation. They build pride and morale, signal a line of command and convey the unit’s honor. They can serve as a rallying point in battle and communicate a message to the enemy or to allies. They can also convey a shared history, and even give names to battles.Learn more:

The museum’s War Flags Collection contains over 200 flags, including some of the most historically significant from the American Civil War and Spanish-American war, and some of the most unique from the Tennessee state militia, which fought at the first major Civil War battle, Chickamauga. Many of these flags have a special place in the hearts of museum visitors. The curator, Wright, says visitors often share stories of their ancestors’ service and a desire to see the flags they served under.

Raise the Standard: Discover the War Flags Collection

In addition to their significance, the flags in the collection are important historical objects that need care and preservation. The museum has a long list of conservation projects for the flags in the collection. However a lack of funding has kept the majority of these historic flags from being conserved.

Some of these flags are in terrible condition, with bloodstains and bullet holes. The museum hopes to fundraise to send some of the more damaged flags for conservation in the future. In the meantime, they are stored flat and protected from light at USArt in Randolph, Massachusetts.

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