Civil War Flag


MediaPaint & Gold Leaf on Pieced Panels of Plain Weave Silk
LocationHancock Historical Museum

During the American Civil War, "the colors"-the unit, state and national flags-under which soldiers marched, fought and fell, served as guides and rallying points on the smoke filled battlefield. This flag was carried by soldiers of the 21st Ohio Infantry, a Findlay-based regiment with companies throughout northwest Ohio.


Found tightly rolled and coiled in a storage box, it took five days of gentle manipulation and humidification of brittle fibers to return the flag to a flat plane, in preparation for treatment. Surface grime was carefully removed from the fabric and painted letters using soft brushes and damp swabs. After realigning splits and tears, a loosely woven silk organdy dyed to the color of the flag was applied to the reverse of the fragile textile. After stabilization, the OVI color was hand sewn to an archival support mount in preparation for framing.

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