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Cape Fear Museum sends Confederate flag away for preservation


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Cape Fear Museum is saying good bye for a while to a few pieces of Wilmington's history. With gloves on and ready to pack, museum staff wrapped, packed and boxed the second of two Civil War-era flags today. They're going to Minnesota on Monday to be conserved. The staff worked Friday morning to pack up a Confederate national flag that was made by local women and flew over Fort Fisher before the Union captured it in 1865 and sent the flag up north.

The museum applied for a grant to the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help pay for the conservation project. The artifacts cannot be put on display before being conserved, because they're too fragile.

"They will be vacuumed to remove any dirt particulates, have a little spot cleaning, remove old repairs that are not good and she's going to do some consolidation and get them looking good and stable so we can put them on exhibit when they come back to us," curator Barbara Rowe said.

The museum will send off a Confederate commander's uniform next year for conservation. The museum hopes to have all three pieces on display by November 2012.

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Conservation and Exhibition

Just a quick note to respond to the questions about conservators and the exhibition of these objects.

We established a relationship in the early '00s with the textile conservator who is treating these objects. At the time, her studio was based in Asheville. She was chosen for this project because her work is proven to us and we know she will provide the best care possible for these fragile and important artifacts.

Each flag will take about six months to conserve and the uniform will take a year. The conservation of historic objects is slow and tedious work. All three objects will be back in our possession in 2012 and will be on display in an exhibition tentatively scheduled to open that fall.

Confederate flags

The article mentions the "second of two flags".
One flag was that of Fort Fisher. What was the other flag?


Quit Being Stupid

To properly preserve this flag is a process. You can't just slap it on a board and put it in a frame. If there are any repairs that need to be made they have to be done by hand because no machine can do the exacting work it wil take to make it right. I am from the Wilmington and the ones that are going on and on about the flag being sent to a Northern state to be repaired need to get a grip. THE WAR HAS BEEN OVER A LONG TIME!!!! We are one country again, no wonder people from other parts of the United States think people from the South are a bunch of idiots who have one tooth in their mouths and sit around drinking moonshine and fighting with our neighbors and families. If this is the way you want to be fine but don't put yourselves out there as being a true Southerner. History is history and stupid is stupid.

The above commentor should

The above commentor should be glad that a Northern state has the ability and is willing to preserve the flag. I would hope that the flag would be retained by the Northen state that captured it again you should count your blessings.

mixed emotions....

Every time I see a confederate flag I feel creeped out. I think it is important to preserve the history but always give a balanced view of what the history means to all residents.

I understand your "creeped out", mixed emotions.

That sort of feeling can be overwhelmingly powerful! It is usually the result of a severe lack of education, especially U.S. History! There is still help for you though at local Universites and Community Colleges. If they don't fit your venue, try picking up a history book or ten, READ them and get caught up! Your supreme ignorance abounds in your post.

The mysteries of the unknown are a far greater fear than fear itself!

I know what you

I know what you mean....every time I see the Confederate flag I feel like saluteing it.


It is good to preserve the confederate flag and uniform, but not being returned until Nov 2012 is over two years away. Certainly it will not take them over 2 years to do the work. That is over two years before my heritage and a big slice of history is available for public display. I am certain that a re-production could be displayed just like is done in some art works. It is history or is it to be politically correct and maybe just go away.....


And why is the flag sent to a yankee State? Are there no Southern States who are capable of preserving the flag, and can get it done much sooner than 2 years?
Can we say hostage?

flag conservation

The reason that some of these flags take up to two years is due to the long line of flags being conserved by a number of institutions that far exceeds the capacity of the conservators. There are some that are in the South but there are some in the North too - and the bottom line for this expensive process is what is best for the flag. I can assure you that the Cape Fear Museum looked over several conservators getting bids for the flags. I have museum experience and this is what they all do for their flags.

And LOOKIE here...

....NOW, we have the "Armchair Historical Restoration and Preservation Experts"! (AHRPE)

I suppose the applicable list of "Armchair .......'s" is never ending...

You folks have DEFINITELY missed your calling as you always know so much more than the professionals!

You SHOULDA, you WOULDA and you COULDA....but you just didn'ta...did'ja? Now, you want to.