Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000 Page: 24
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had helped them raise money in the early
20th century for a project that funded
many of the Confederate monuments that
still grace courthouse squares across Texas
and the South. Fundraising efforts were
successful then, and the 1990's progam has
proven just as productive. Since 1992, several
UDC artifacts and 20 flags from the
collection have been conserved; two more
are funded and scheduled for conservation.
To date, more than $250,000 has been
raised on behalf of the flag conservation
effort, and if in-kind services were counted,
this number would double. The amazing
aspect of this effort is that it has been accomplished
at a grassroots level.
UDC members rolled up their sleeves
and conducted various fundraisers, including
the very successful penny campaign with
the slogan "Put Abe Lincoln to Work for
the Confederacy," solicited individual adoptions
of flags, and masterminded product
sales including a catalog that is in its third
printing, and commemorative posters that
have long been sold out. The UDC was also
diligent in its pursuit of grants, memorial
A biographical dictionary by John and
Deborah Powers is the most extensive
and comprehensive reference book on artists
who worked in Texas before the modern
era that began with World War II.
From a multitude of sources, the authors
have identified some 3,800 artists and
constructed biographical sketches, exhibition
records, lists of public collections,
and bibliographical references. In two
appendices, the authors describe the
more important public and private art
schools, museums, associations, and exhibitions
of the period, illuminating particularly
the regionalist movement of the
1920s and 1930s. Art and history buffs
alike will find the book useful.
Scheduled for publication in March 2000,
the book will comprise approximately
600 pages and retail for $125.00 plus
shipping and handling.
S.. Si S
Put Abe Lincoln
To Work For The
Your Two Cents Can
Make a Difference...
contributions, pledges, and honorariums.
In an effort to insure the proper handling,
display, and exhibition of the flags,
the UDC joined and became active in the
Texas Association of Museums and the
American Association of Museums, where
they were able to gain information helpful
in the development of a policy and procedures
manual and standards of ethics policy.
The Daughters also insured their collection,
and working alongside another group
that has an eminent flag collection, they
developed a collection loan agreement.
The conservation effort, one of the largest
undertaken on such a large scale, has received
It is not only the physical collection that
is impressive, but the wealth of information
that these flags have added to our historical
record that is also noteworthy. Many
of the flags in the UDC collection came
from organizations of veterans or from family
members, and a majority of the banners
arrived about 1905, as the United Confederate
Veterans organization was transforming
into the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Just as Theordore Roosevelt had authorized
the return of battle flags held by the federal
government, President Calvin
Coolidge in the 1920s, requested that those
held by the states also be returned. (This
fulfilled a campaign promise he had made
in order to gain the southern vote.) Also,
Texas was sent several of the flags simply
because they bore a single star. One such
flag is the Union General Phil Sheridan's
Headquarter guidon, which originally consisted
of a set of four. Research identified
that the Daughters have one of those flags
and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington,
D.C., has the others. The most recent
This poster helped the United Daughters of
the Confederacy raise money to help fund the
conservation of 20 flags.
addition to the UDC collection was the
flag of the Magnolia Rangers, which arrived
in 1991 from a family whose ancestor
had served in the unit. Family members
revealed that the flag had been under
the grandfather's bed for many years.
Another flag was hidden from the enemy
by a little boy, and one was used as a
Bible cover. Hood's Fourth Texas Brigade
flag was buried along the banks of Barton
Creek to protect it from a hostile Reconstruction
government. Some of the flags
represent victories, as seen by the battle
honors, while others note defeat with their
age-old blood stains. One even still smells
of the ship's boiler, while others flew in
Austin over the Confederate Men's Home
and the Austin Lunatic Asylum. The flag
of the Eighth Texas Cavalry, better known
as Terry's Texas Rangers, was stolen in 1980
only to surface in 1996 at a Florida gun
show when it was retrieved and returned
by the Florida State Police (see images on
Today the UDC collection consists of
47 flags and/or fragments. Thirty-three of
those are Confederate flags, with 23 from
Texas units. There are four Union flags,
four UDC banners, three postwar ceremonial
flags, one World War I banner, and
two World War II flags. The collection of
Texas Confederate flags is the largest publicly
held assembly of Texas flags of any
kind that is known to exist within the state.
While the sacrifice and stories that these
flags represent are truly priceless, appraisers
have valued the collection, as of 1998,
at more than $1.5 million.
Currently this outstanding collection
is stored in a controlled museum storage
facility. Once a flag room at Hill College
has been completed to meet the museum
standards required for this type of collection,
the UDC will transfer the flags there
to join the rest of the UDC/Texas Confederate
Museum collection, a portion of
which is currently on display. In the meantime,
the Daughters continue to raise conservation
funds as they wait for the Hill
College facility to be completed.
While the process has been long, the
conservation of these flags and the work
that goes into this effort is justified, according
to the UDC. These flags represent more
that just history; they symbolize truth and
HERITAGE * 24 * WINTER 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000, periodical, Winter 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45388/m1/24/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.