Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Flag
Catalog Number 1995.06.61
Date ca. 1861
Material(s) Silk
Description This is a collection of parts from different flags. Part A is a dark blue piece of silk that is approximately 13 inches long. There is a portion of a painted wing on it. Part B is a dark blue faded to green silk from either a regimental flag or is part of a canton from a national flag. It has a small spot of red paint on one end. Part C is a lighter green silk that has several long strips of seams. This piece also has the remnants of two stars and a reddish brown spot--possibly from lettering or part of a design.
Notes Some of our Civil War era flags are in terrible shape. A big reason for this is how they were originally made. Harsh dyes used to color fabrics (especially silk) resulted in the material breaking apart and shattering. Painted areas typically remain more intact but paint does not allow free movement of the fabric and thus contributes to the fracturing of adjacent areas.

Ironically wool and cotton flags, which were less expensive to produce, are far more stable than silk flags. These flags in our collection remain largely intact and in far better condition than their silk counterparts.

Many of the Civil War era flags in our collection cannot be physically displayed without causing further damage. KHS stores flags flat in a stable environment. Our goal is to slow the deterioration as much as possible.
Collection KHS Museum Collection
Event American Civil War
Subjects Flags
Military flags
Civil wars
Search Terms American Civil War
Civil War
Civil War flags
Civil Wars
Flag remnants
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS