Civil War Flags


Jul 15, 2003
A client brought in 2 pieces of a civil war flag, her father-in-law had cut it up so it could be given to multiple family members (kinda sad).

In examining the 2 pieces they do look to be perhaps wool bunting, the colors are still very vibrant, and although I question the authenticity because they are in such good shape, I will still treat them as if they are for real.

We designed a package to have the 2 pieces side by side, float mounted in a deep frame. Is it safe to stitch them to Crescent Moorman White core Linen Matboard or do I need to consider an alternative method to mount these? We're using Museum glass and AF foam board and other archival goodies, I'm mostly wondering about the mounting method I should use.
While I agree that stitching them down will be the best way to mount them, I do have to wonder about the linin mat. White Core mats from Crescent are just that... White Core. They are not Acid Free.

If you want to be sure that you are using conservation linin mat, you might consider mounting washed linin to Rag mat.

The other thing... some people are a little worried about the possible off gassing from Foam Core. But I would probably use it myself... if it was the Art Care Foam Core.
Saying I do mount washed linen, what do I use for stitching to match the dye colors?

The stitching around the star is zig zag and way to precise for the older sewing machine models or hand stitching. I can't see how these could be authentic. Do I say anything to my client? It was her father-in-law that gave them to her.
Bainbridge has AlphaLinen and AlphaDenim boards that meet all preservation requirements, FACTS PMMB 2000. ( plus they have zeolites that would also help preserve the article. The white is nice as is the offwhite and several colors, all preservation grade boards.
Frank's Fabrics for Framers has ph neutral fabrics for just this case.

If you have any ph papers you can test the flags and if they are wool, they're probably about 6.5-6.0 acidity.

Building strainer bars, and stretching fiberglass screening and ph neutral fabric over the bars, provides a very easy foundation to stitch through.

As for their authontisity.....

A wise and much older gentleman framer once explained it to me thus

"when they tell you the story behind the item, remember that you are ONLY there to help enhance the story, as it has been told to you. NOT for you to re-tell the story."