A second display case of Civil War-era battle flags was opened this week at the statehouse, revealing flags placed in the capitol’s rotunda 100 years ago by veterans of the War Between the States. Lee Booten of Ankeny, a member of the group helping raise money to preserve the flags, says Union flags aren’t faring as well as Confederate flags. The Confederates made their flags of wool. Union flags were made of silk, and are degrading faster.The project to restore all the battle flags will take at least five years. The first batch of flags to be removed from the capitol has been restored. The next phase of the project calls for renovating the display cases. Booten says the display cases will be climate controlled and special lighting will be installed that’s least harmful on the fabric of the flags. The plan calls for displaying a few of the flags at a time, and including information about the regiments and where the soldiers fought. Iowa fought on the Union side of the war, and there were more Iowa soldiers, per capita, than from any other state.
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