KENOSHA – A new exhibit: It's a Grand Old Flag, opens Saturday, April 17 at the Civil War Museum. More than 100 flags will be on display in the John M. Antaramian Gallery at the museum through Dec. 5, 2010.
Among the flags on display is a rare California statehood flag which was carried by a California delegate to the Chicago Republican National Convention in 1860. It was at this convention that Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President. The 31-star parade flag is one of the rare surviving national flags from the presidential nomination. The flags in the exhibit are on loan from a private collector, Tom Schiera, of Kenosha.
Many of the flags in the exhibit pertain to Civil War veterans groups, specifically the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). Some of the flags are over-printed with post names and numbers from the times when these veterans groups were active. The oldest flag in Schiera's collection is a 30 star Wisconsin statehood flag which dates back to about 1848.