Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial History Partners

(Partners with the State Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission/Committee)

Help Provide Access to Michigan’s Civil War Battle Flags

The Michigan History Foundation, in partnership with the Archives of Michigan, announces a unique opportunity for Michigan residents to increase access to Michigan’s Civil War battle flags. A portion of the state’s Civil War Sesquicentennial website will be dedicated to showcasing the battle flags for the world to see. In addition to a photograph, there will be detailed information on the history of each flag.

Through a $250 sponsorship per flag, donors will be acknowledged with their name and location along side their sponsored flag page on the website. In addition, each donor will receive an archival color print of their sponsored flag and be afforded the unique opportunity to be a part of a select group of individuals to help provide access of Michigan’s Civil War battle flags to the public. The accumulated funds will be used to help support additional projects regarding Michigan’s role in the Civil War.

Currently, Michigan’s Civil War battle flags are being conserved at the Michigan Historical Center, where experts are able to provide the conditions necessary to halt their further disintegration. Viewing of the flags is not open to the public because of the special conditions that must be maintained to ensure their care. However, by placing the flags on line, access will be greatly increased thereby providing everyone with an opportunity to see these precious Michigan treasures.

Although most of the flags were made of silk, some were made of cotton, wool, or linen. The fringes, too, were often silk, although cotton or a gold metallic fringe was sometimes used. The Federal colors or the Michigan state coats-of-arms flags were hand-stenciled and painted – or even hand-embroidered– on some flags. Others bear gold stenciled or appliquéd stars. Many flags are embellished in gold with the names of their regiment’s major battles – Gettysburg, Antietam, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Petersburg – names that, along with the bullet-torn flags themselves, bear mute testimony to the history of Michigan in the Civil War.

To sponsor a flag, go to http://seekingmichigan.myshopify.com/collections/michigan-civil-war-battle-flags or call 517-373-2565 for additional information.

The Michigan History Foundation is a non-profit organization providing opportunities for the private support of the preservation, access, and education of Michigan history projects and programs. The Archives of Michigan is responsible for preserving the records of Michigan government and other public institutions. In fulfilling this primary mission, it serves as the collective memory of Michigan state government. In addition, after review, the Archives of Michigan also accepts papers from private individuals and organizations.

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Keith G. Harrison

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