It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
As part of a long-term project to preserve its collection of Civil War battle flags, the Missouri State Museum is going to let Missourians see about 45 of the flags online. The flags can be viewed through Missouri Digital Heritage, which is an online database that holds historical state records. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.
The museum has overseen the conservation of these 45 flags and plans to display seven of the flags at a time in its History Hall on the first floor of the Missouri State Capitol. The seven flags on display will rotate every six months to allow the public to view as many as possible over the course of the exhibit.
First, a little history: at the end of the Civil War, state leaders collected both Union and Confederate battle flags for keepsake purposes. Some were reported to have been in very bad shape and barely recognizable. Connie Langum, historian at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, says these flags served several purposes for troops during the war.
“They relied a lot on the flag to pinpoint location and to rally troops. If a unit is organized out of a specific town or specific county, the women of that area may make the flag and present it to that unit, so it’s a sense of pride and ownership for that unit. When they do well in battle and are recognized, they get to add that name or that particular battle on their flag as their battle honor, so to speak.”
In 1920, the flags were turned over to the Missouri State Museum by the Adjutant General’s office. Then, in 1984, a group of legislators pushed to form an organization to finance the conservation of these flags. The conservation effort continues today with funding from the parks and soils sales tax administered through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Linda Endersby, Director of the Missouri State Museum, tells how people can find pictures of the flags online.
“If they go to our website, www.missouristatemuseum.com, there is a links page. One of the links on there will take them to the digital heritage sites. There they can look at images of the flags, get some information on the history of the flags and history of the units, and find out more about Missouri’s rich history.”
Endersby says her staff firmly believes that the collection they have belongs to the citizens of Missouri. She says the push to put these pictures online is part of an effort to get this history to more Missourians.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.
For a link to the Missouri Digital Heritage website: click here