Video & story: State considers funding to restore Civil War flags
By Tyler Gribbons
INDIANAPOLIS – A restoration project for almost 400 rare Civil War flags could receive as much as $500,000 from the state general fund under legislation introduced in the Indiana Senate.
The money would go to the Indiana War Memorials Commission to restore and preserve Civil War flags that are kept in the downtown Indiana War Memorial.
In 2007, Sen. Allen Paul, R-Richmond, secured $278,000 from the state budget for the restorations. But Paul said that they weren’t even able to do much with that money.
Then as the economy worsened, the state withdrew some funds from the Indiana War Memorials Commission and the group has since been working with private organizations to raise the cash needed to fix the flags.
Now, Paul is authoring the bill to send more money to the effort. Majority Caucus Chairman Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said it’s needed and he arranged for two of the flags to be displayed at the Statehouse.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness to the existence of these flags – but also to the need for more restoration.”
Stewart Goodwin, executive director of the war memorials commission, said the cost of restoring the flag can cost $5,000 to $20,000. He also said that the process can take up to a year to complete.
“We have flags that participated in most of those battles during the civil war,” Goodwin said. “Indiana had a very storied history back then.”
Currently, most of the flags are stored in a vault under guard waiting until the commission has enough money to restore some of them to their former glory.
Tyler Gribbons is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.