As historic flags age, civil war brews over preservation

AP News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2016 11:54 AM
As historic flags age, civil war brews over preservation

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — More than 80 Civil War flags, some tattered, some stained in blood and ripped by bullet holes, capture the attention of visitors to New Hampshire's State House.

Men once carried the flags as they marched into battle. Since the 1860s, the banners have hung in the Hall of Flags at the state Capitol's front entrance.

Stored in glass cases, the 88 flags are at the heart of a preservation debate.

If left as they are, how long will they last? Statehouses and museums nationwide grapple with similar questions as they seek to preserve historical relics.

Maine moved flags from its Capitol to the state museum years ago, placing the flags on special panels for preservation. Rhode Island is now exploring flag preservation and Connecticut recently completed a project.