Students from Upper Iowa University who fought with the Union Army during the Civil War may have clipped off pieces of their battle flag as souvenirs when the war ended, flag conservator David Lamb told an audience gathered to rededicate the 150-year-old flag at UIU recently.
FAYETTE, Iowa (October 12, 2013) – A 150-year-old Civil War battle flag was rededicated at Upper Iowa University as part of Homecoming 2013 events this weekend. The flagaccompanied the University Recruits Company C, 12th Iowa, which included nearly every UIU male student and several faculty members at the time, as they joined the Union Army.
The flag, which was sewn by UIU female students, is now on permanent display in the Henderson-Wilder Library Reading Room on the Fayette campus after being restored by the Iowa State Historical Society battle flags project.
The rededication ceremony was performed by "The Governor's Own Iowa Rifles" of Company "A" 49th Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Sons Veteran Reserve Honor Guard Unit for the Department of Iowa, and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The flag has returned to the Fayette campus after being cleaned, preserved and encased for future generations to appreciate, according to Becky Wadian, UIU director of library services.
In the interests of preserving the fragile flag as long as possible, David Lamb told the audience that the flag is viewed backwards due to deterioration from previous display methods. He said the bottom corner of the flag may have been clipped off by members of the University Recruits as mementoes of their service. Lamb, who is a first lieutenant and commanding officer of the 49th Regiment is a volunteer conservator with the battle flags project.
The displayed flag is the second banner sewn by UIU women and carried into battle by the University recruits because the first flag was captured at the Battle of Shiloh.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to some 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing