Flag museum receives grant for new president’s flag exhibit

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 13, 2018

The Polk County Community Foundation recently awarded a grant to create a new exhibit at the House of Flags Museum in Columbus.

It all began in October 2012, when the museum developed and exhibited the “Flags of the Eisenhower Oval Office.” This was the first time in history that these 48, 49, and 50-star presidential and national flags were displayed together. The event attracted over 1,000 spectators in four days.

The six unique flags, valued at nearly $2 million, were on loan with approval from the National Archives and Records Administration from the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and from private collectors.

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The new exhibit, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018, has its beginnings with the research and preparation for the 2012 Eisenhower Oval Office flag exhibit, including hundreds of historical books, publications, drawings, renderings, news stories and rare photographs that were collected and placed in the museum’s library.

The new president’s flag exhibit will show and tell the story of the evolution of 14 different flags of the president of the United States of America — from George Washington’s 1775 personal headquarters flag to today’s 1960 design of the president’s flag.

Photos of numerous artistic renderings hidden from public view, White House letters and personal quotes from the 1945 presidential flag redesign initiative will also be displayed in the exhibit.

The new exhibit requires removing the current exhibit panels and replacing them with more efficient “grid wall” panels for the display of flags, placards and photographic enlargements. These panels allow more effective and flexible use of the limited space in the museum’s middle room.

Admission to the museum, located at 33 Gibson St. Columbus, is free. For more information, visit the museum’s web site at www.houseofflags.org.

– Submitted by Robert Williamson