Heritage, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000 Page: 9
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Detail of flag treated by Richey/Fowler method
wildest enthusiasm, which when coupled
with the playing of 'Dixie,' set off waves
of Rebel yells, extemporaneous oratory,
mass foot stomping and not a few tears."
Old soldiers began conducting elaborate
national searches to locate flags lost during
the war, and in the period of reconciliation
during the last two decades of the
19th century, many flags were returned by
obliging Northerners. To save those for
posterity, veterans and their families
often entrusted their flags either to the
State of Texas or to the newly-formed
United Daughters of the Confederacy
(see story on page 22). In 1905 President
Theodore Roosevelt, as a gesture of
national good will, ordered the return of
the captured Confederate flags still in
possession of the Federal government.
These added a number of flags from Texas
units to the state's holdings. By the 1920s
Texas possessed a significant collection of
historic flags, but time had taken its toll
- most were in such poor condition that
they were too fragile or damaged to be
In 1931 state librarian Fannie M.
Wilcox, who had charge of the collection,
began searching for ways to restore the
disintegrating flags so they could be
exhibited again. She wrote flag dealers,
manufacturers, and finally the United
States Bureau of Standards, but no one
seemed to know how to repair aging flags.
Finally the associate director of the
Smithsonian Institute referred Wilcox to
the one person in America willing to
undertake the project. She was Katherine
Richey, and after an exchange of letters,
Wilcox began sending her the state's flags.
Richey's aim was to transform historic
flags into visually attractive exhibit
pieces, but it was her mother, Amelia
Fowler, who had developed the technique
that Richey employed. In 1912, the
commander of the United States Naval
Toluca Battalion Flag
Enjoy the hal
our finely detailed handm
Republic of Texas.
OR FOR YOURSELFl '
~eritage - 19th century maps and
e replicas of the historic flags of the
Visit us when you are in Austin. Call or write for a brochure.
The Gallery of the Republic
In the Four Seasons Hotel
Post Office Box 156 * Austin, Texas 78767 * (512) 472-7701
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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/m1/9/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.