Historic Chambersburg flag from 1864 restored

Pennsylvania

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WDVM) — The Franklin County Historical Society recently finished restoring a historical, 35-star flag. The flag was rescued from the burning of Chambersburg, which took place on July 30, 1864.

“It’s come down through several generations through several families and by marriages. It came to the historical society long before I was here, and I just happened to find it in the collection… on a windowsill,” said director Ann Hull.

The flag had been hanging in the center of Chambersburg on the day that the burning took place. Hull said that a local hotel owner, David Brand, took the flag down after knowing the Confederates were coming and took it into his home.

“Later that day when the Confederates threatened to burn the home, David’s sister Louisa wrapped the flag around her body and, brandishing a pistol, dared the soldiers to fire her home. The Confederates backed down and the building was saved from destruction,” said a release.

“There’s such a great story behind this, I wanted to save the flag. I wanted to have it in our Civil War gallery,” Hull said.

Three-quarters of the funding for this restoration project came from a grant by the Palmer Family Foundation Fund that the society received in December 2019. They fundraised the rest through donations. The restoration process spanned nearly a year.

After a display is set up and a plaque about the flag’s history is created, Hull said the flag will be displayed in their permanent Civil War gallery to further their mission of storytelling.

“I’m always excited about sharing our story. That’s the most important thing. Not facts or whatever, but stories about people, and how they lived, how they survived, what they did. That’s the most important thing. To share that,” she stated.

More information as well as contact information to check about availability and book a tour is available at the Franklin County Historical Society’s website.

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