Flags & Banners
Flags and banners are our most patriotic national textiles. Often made of silk or thin wool bunting, they can be extremely fragile and require advanced conservation techniques for their preservation.
Conservation and mounting of historic flags is often one and the same process. This 1862 Woburn flag was in tatters from being stored on its flag pole. After careful unrolling, the flag was hand stitched to a custom-colored, fabric-covered panel. Loose pieces were held in place with an overlay of sheer silk crepeline. The mounted flag was then covered with a UV-filtering acrylic case. Read about the rededication of the Woburn GAR Flag here.
Museum Textile Services has had the privilege of working with many individuals and institutions to preserve flags, including the Connecticut State Legislature and the Massachusetts Art Commission. Read more about Civil War flags we have conserved on our Resources Page.
Banners have many of the same issues as flags. They can be painted on both sides or made from two pieces of fabric each painted on only one side. Banners are frequently displayed with their poles or stands, which requires creative ways to make the old hanging system safe to use.