Indiana’s historic battle flags will soon be getting some much-needed attention, as Governor Mike Pence this week signed legislation authored by State Senator Jim Merritt to help fund their restoration and preservation. The act establishes a state fund to preserve the flags used from wars spanning decades, from 1846 to 1991.
Senate Enrolled Act 323 launches the creation of the fund to repair the battle flags used by regiments to mark the group’s position and to communicate instructions on the field. The flags are deteriorating and many are in pretty bad shape because of water damage and age.
Merritt said battle flags tell a story about the country’s past, but their condition inhibits their ability to be appreciated. Rather than store them in basement vaults to be forgotten, this legislation aims to get more of these flags into a place where citizens can view, enjoy, and respect them.
The battle flag collection of Indiana is currently housed at the Indiana War Memorial Commission, one of the largest collections in the country as it boasts more than 400 flags.