without doubt sacred objects in this collection. There are those with bullet holes
and blood stains. People have lost their lives in the defense of these flags."
--NY State Assemblyman Jack McEneny, 1994
New York's 1,000 Civil War flags are literally threatened with extinction. If we do not commit to their preservation very soon, these emblems of sacrifice and bravery will cease to exist. What follows are various articles about the situation and links to e-mail Governor Pataki and state senators and representatives.
Help make New York military history!! Join the
NYS MILITARY HERITAGE INSTITUTE
"Heritage at Risk" page up
State Division of Military & Naval Affairs
ELECTRONIC FLAG ROOM
A must-see information site on the state's flag restoration project
What New York State law says
Article 1, Section 24, New York State Military Law:
"1. The adjutant general shall cause the chief of staff of the state to establish and maintain as part of his office, a bureau of war records, in which all records in his office relating to the wars in which the the state participated, and relics shall be kept. The chief of staff of the state shall be the custodian of all such records, relics, colors, standards and battle flags of New York troops now the property of the state or in its possession, or which the state may hereafter acquire or become possessed of. The adjutant general, upon recommendation of the chief of staff, shall appoint a chief of this bureau, who shall hold office under his direction for six years.
2. The chief of staff of the state by all reasonable ways and means, shall complete such records and gather from very available source such colors, standards and battle flags as were borne by New York state troops in the wars in which the state participated, and such statistics and historical information and relics as may serve to perpetuate the memory and heroic deeds of the soldiers of the state, AND KEEP AND CAREFULLY PRESERVE THE SAME IN SUCH BUREAU.
5. ...THE LEGISLATURE SHALL ANNUALLY MAKE SUITABLE APPROPRIATIONS TO ENABLE THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE STATE TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION."
Source: McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated, Book 35, Military Law, pp. 49-51.
just in from the NY
Dept of Military & Naval Affairs...
Almost immediately after sending out my broadcast e-mail about NY's new flag preservation project, I received the following e-mail from Major R. H. von Hasseln, DMNA Historian:July 29, 1998
Much has been happening on NYS battle flags over the past year. All the statutory authorities have made their appointments to the NYS Temporary Commission on battle flags and this will convene presently.
In preparation for this, the Division of Military and Naval Affairs secured significant federal grant money to conduct a Curatorial Assessment Project (CAP), by which all flags were inventoried, a representative sample professionally examined, and a detailed restoration proposal made.
Working with the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation, DMNA is about to unveil the first ten flags restored.
Another flag (5th Zouaves) was restored by money provided through the good offices of State Senator Owen Johnson and is now on display at state military headquarters. DMNA also raised funds to preserve the "Prince of Wales" flag of the "Fighting 69th".
We are also working with other groups and organizations to raise funds and accomplish preservation of flags in the capitol, elsewhere in state possession, and in local government/historical agency hands.
DMNA continues to search for a suitable location for a permanent home for the battle flags and the rest of its historical collection. The collection (minus the flags at the capitol) has been relocated from the basement of the old Washington Avenue Armory to better quarters at Watervliet Arsenal.
DMNA is also considering reissuing a previous publication of its regarding New York State flags, with expended coverage of the battle flags.
And, although this is the most effective progress made in the last hundred years, it is only the beginning of our efforts. If you wish to know more, please contact me at (518) 786-4481, or Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Lynch, Historical Properties Manager, at (518) 786-4371.
R. H. von Hasseln
Major, Field Artillery
Military and Naval Historian
colors of the 127th NY to be preserved;
One Civil War Roundtable's success
HUNTINGTON, NY (via Ben Maryniak, Buffalo CWRT)-- The regimental flag of the 127th New
York Infantry will be preserved with an $8000 grant which was allocated in this year's New
York State Budget , according to Cass Baker of the North Shore CWRT, in Huntingon.
According to Cass, the 127th was raised in Suffolk and New York Counties, and was "our boys from our township". They were also known as "The Monitors".
In a recent correspondance, Baker stated that the Roundtable spent several months doing research at the local and state level, having the flag's preservation appraised by a conservator and contacting local and state officials to enlist their support.
"Ultimately, our two US senators became enlisted in the cause and we persevered," Baker stated.
The Roundtable succeeded in lobbying for an $8000 grant from the Legislature, which will cover the entire preservation cost. When completed the flag will be displayed in the Huntington Town Hall in a special ceremony before being returned to Albany.
Cass stated that her committee has learned a great deal about this process and is willing to assist others with similar projects. She can be reached at 93 Fairmount St., Huntington, NY, 11743.
A suggestion from one correspondant
An unnamed correspondant has suggested that the Legislature enact a check-off on State income tax returns of $5 to go to the flags. Comments?
NY flags that have been successfully preserved so far.
5th NY Infantry (Zouaves) -
thanks to State Sen. Owen Johnson
69th NY Infantry's "Prince of Wales" flag - thanks to DMNA
95th NY Infantry - thanks to Lance Ingmire
127th NY - thanks to North Shore CWRT
Let me know about your success story!
The Presentation of New York's Regimental Flags
to the Governor, July 4, 1865
Click on the title for an excerpt from Presentation of Flags of New York Volunteer Regiments to the Governor, July 4, 1865 (published by the Chief of Bureau of Military Record, Albany, 1865).
We must act now!!
Send an e-mail message to your State Senator and Assemblyman. Explain how you feel about the State's neglect of our heritage and that you want their commitment to saving NY's flags - then stay in contact and make sure they do
Click HERE to send e-mail to them
Send mail to Governor Pataki
Governor George E. Pataki
Albany, NY 12224
To Send Email:
Write letters to the editor of your local papers
Tell your friends and have them do the same
Encourage school classes to write to the Governor/Legislators
Speak to local groups
If you're involved with a Civil War Roundtable, Sons of Union Veterans Camp, living history regiment, or other Civil War group, get them involved
Send copies of any correspondence you receive from the Governor or legislators to George Contant, 16 South Governors Ave., Dover, DE 19904.
Here's what to say
Keep it short --no more than a page and a half, typewritten.
Think about what you're going to write first.
Keep it to the point --do not ramble.
Keep it friendly --for now.
Know about the service of the men from your area and speak briefly about them.
Pick a particular flag that is of significance to your legislator's district, confirm with
that it is in the collection and is preservable, and talk about it. It is possible you may convince him or her to use some of his own discretionary funds to have it preserved.
Encourage him or her to provide funding for the State's flag preservation and housing program.
If they do get involved - publicly praise them!