NYS Capitol Flag Room

Virtual Visit: The Flag Room

Explore the military battle flag collection at the New York State Capitol.
Virtual Visit: The Flag Room
SHARE

Virtual Visit: The Flag Room

Explore the military battle flag collection at the New York State Capitol.

Fun Facts
Flag Collection est. 1863

Oldest Flag from the War of 1812
2,000 + flags

Largest collection in the US
500+ flags have been conserved

60% of flags are from the Civil War
Trivia

 

What was the role of the Bureau of Military Statistics?
Created in December 1862, the role of the Bureau of Military Statistics was to record the histories, statistics, and artifacts of New York State regiments fighting during the Civil War.

Where is the rest of the New York State military collection on display?
In 2002, the New York State Military Museum & Veterans Research Center opened in Saratoga Springs and houses thousands of artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm.

What is the Veteran Research Center?
As part of the New York State Military Museum, the Veteran Research Center houses the research library and archives containing over 2000 volumes of military and state history and over 6,000 historic photographs. It also operates the New York State Veteran Oral History Program.

What is the relationship between former New York State Capitol architect, Isaac Perry, and the New York State Military Museum?
Long before it became the New York State Military Museum, the building was an armory that originally opened in 1889. The armory was designed by Isaac Perry, one of the original architects of the New York State Capitol.

What are the steps taken to conserve a battle flag?
Flag conservation is a very involved process consisting of: documentation of the flag’s history and condition, removal of the flag from its staff, cleaning and realigning the flag, transporting the flag to an archival support, and properly storing or displaying the newly conserved flag.

What is Sgt. Henry Johnson’s connection to Albany, New York?
Henry Johnson moved to New York as a teenager and worked jobs throughout the Capital Region, including as a porter at Albany’s Union Station.  On May 14, 1918, Sgt. Henry Johnson of the 369th Regiment under French command during World War I, single handedly saved himself and his partner from a German attack with nothing but a broken rifle, a few hand grenades, and a bolo knife. For his bravery, the French awarded Sgt. Henry Johnson the Croix de Guerre with a gold palm signifying his valor. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Henry Johnson.

What famous person’s visit to Albany led to the existence of the Flag Room?
During a well-publicized visit to the Capitol by Civil War hero, and former President, Ulysses S. Grant in 1881, a newspaper reporter found the war-torn flags in poor condition. A resolution was passed to move the flags into the Capitol.  They are currently on display in their large, oak, glass front cases on the first floor of the Capitol.

What are the oldest and newest flags in the collection?
The over 2200 flags in the collection include examples all the way back to the War of 1812 as well as the more recent wars and conflicts in Asia and in the Middle East.