One of the 214 Civil War era battle flags that used to stand in the statehouse rotunda is back in place. Jeff Morgan of the State Historical Society says that flag has been carefully restored. The flag had been on display at the statehouse since 1894, but was removed a couple of years ago and taken to the State Historical Building for restoration and preservation work. The flag case in the statehouse has also been updated with special lighting that’s less damaging to the flags’ material. “We have retrofitted the cases at the capitol to more adequately display and exhibit the battle flags,” Morgan says. Restoration experts are working on the battle flags, and once they are done the flags will be returned to the capitol. Two restored flags now stand in a special display at the State Historical Building. Morgan says it takes up to eight weeks to stabilize and preserve each flag. It can cost up to 20-thousand dollars, per flag, to restore and preserve the material. The flag that has been returned to the statehouse display was carried by the 33rd Iowa Infantry which had soldiers from Keokuk, Mahaska and Marion counties. You can find out more about the Iowa Battle Flag Project on-line, at www.iowaflags.org.
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