Flag Collection

In 1905, Georgia Gov. Joseph Terrell announced that the U.S. War Department had returned twenty-six Civil War flags to Georgia. He requested state funds to preserve the collection. In 1916, the General Assembly mandated that the flags from the Civil War and Spanish American War "be preserved for all time in the Capitol of the State." The law required the governor to accept "any such flag . . . offered to the State" and "to make such provision for its preservation as may be necessary. . . ." Thus began the Georgia Capitol flag collection. For over one hundred years the flag collection has grown to include flags from every major military conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection also included many non-military flags collected as part of the history of Georgia and the Capitol. While several flags in the Georgia Capitol flag collection are on loan, many have been donated from other states, organizations, or private citizens. In 1964, Gov. Matthew Welsh of Indiana returned two Georgia Confederate battle flags to Gov. Ernest Vandiver, declaring: "We are joined indivisibly into one great nation leading the peoples of the world toward the peace with freedom and dignity for which mankind so fervently prays."

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