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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and State Archivist David Cheever invite the public to view 1860 Fort Sumter flag
Replica of historic flag on display in Augusta
AUGUSTA – In commemoration of National Flag Day, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and State Archivist David Cheever invite the public to view an 18’ x 33’ replica of a garrison flag designed in the same configuration as the 1860 Fort Sumter flag. The flag is on loan from the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick and will hang in the atrium at the Cultural Building at the State House Complex in Augusta until Labor Day.
“National Flag Day was instituted to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777,” said Dunlap. “This replica is a fore bearer of the flag that now represents the United States and that we honor today.”
The flag flown at Fort Sumter during the Civil War was never surrendered following the bombardment by General Pierre Beauregard and the South Carolinians on April 13th and 14th in 1861.
“The staff on which the flag was fixed was shattered by a cannon ball, but the men re-situated the flag as a show of gallantry, obstinacy, defiance -- call it what you will, but it was not surrender,” said Cheever.
He later explains, “Major Robert Anderson was the commander of the 70 Federal troops at Fort Sumter (and formerly the officer in charge of the Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta well before the War). When he believed that further resistance to the bombardment was futile, he asked for a cease fire and declared to Beauregard and the Mayor of Charleston that he and his men would leave, effectively ceding the Fort to the seceded government of South Carolina. The Federal troops were allowed to leave, and Anderson took the flag with him. When the Union returned upon the capture of Charleston, so did Anderson; with the flag and a performing band of musicians from Bangor, Maine. A few years later, Anderson's health failed and he died. His body was wrapped in the Fort Sumter flag and he was interred.”
There is no fee to view the flag. The Cultural Building houses the Maine State Archives, the Maine State Museum and the Maine State Library. For hours and directions visit http://www.maine.gov/msl/about/hrsdirect.shtml.
If you wish to visit the Maine State Museum while at the Cultural Building, there is a minimal charge: Adults - $2.00; Children 6 – 18 - $1.00; Children under 6 – free; Family maximum charge - $6.00; Senior citizens (62 and older) - $1.00. Museum admission must be paid by cash or check only.
For more information on Flag Day, visit the National Flag Day Association: http://www.nationalflagday.com/default.asp.
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