The loan of "our" two Alabama regimental flags from the State Historical Society of Iowa is coming to an end at the close of this month (October 28). The loan of the 31st Alabama regimental flag captured at Bakers Creek, Mississippi in 1863 and the 45th Alabama battle flag captured at Atlanta in 1864 has lasted for over four years. In an attempt was made over the past few months to talk the SHSI museum into donating the flags to Alabama. An offer to purchase the flags was extended but. SHSI said they did not have the authority to sell objects in their collection. Alabama Senator Dick Brewbaker wrote a letter to the Governor of Iowa on behalf of Confederate Memorial Park asking him to grant permission for SHSI to sell us the flags but there was no response from the Iowa Governor. So we are duty bound to honor our loan agreement with SHSI and return the flags to Iowa. They will remain on display at CMP until October 28 for all who want to gaze at their hallowed folds here on Alabama soil.
There is some good news however:
In late October by agreement with the Archives & History Department, Confederate Park will begin a rotational flag loan for selected framed Confederate flags in the Archives' significant collection. We will receive three flags for display for a year, after which time we will rotate those flags back to the Archives in exchange for three different flags for another year. The Archives has had a considerable number of flags conserved and museum framed thanks to many generous donations (including annual donations from the Prattville Dragoons). Those donations as well as the limited display space at the Archives has made it possible for Confederate Park to display several of these wonderfully conserved Confederate flags at any given time! Thanks to Archives Director Steve Murray and especially to Archives Chief Curator Bob Bradley for making this possible.