Save New York's

    Civil War Flags!


        "There are 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


New "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.


This 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

        Dear Sir:

        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


The 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?


Success Stories
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!!

Click HERE to send e-mail to them

Governor George E. Pataki
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

To Send Email:
gov.pataki@chamber.state.ny.us

Here's what to say

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