General George Gordon Meade officially returned the flags of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to state care at a ceremony held on Independence Day 1866 in Philadelphia. The flags were kept in the state arsenal in Harrisburg, the old Hill's Capitol museum, and the Executive, Library, and Museum Building before being transferred to the current Capitol rotunda in 1914. In 1985, the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee began conservation of the entire collection, completing it in the late 1980s. Since then the collection has been available for viewing, study and scholarship by both the general public and afficionados of the Civil War. Battle damage such as bullet and shrapnel tears can be seen on numerous colors, along with bloodstains and in-the-field repairs. Each color has a unique and often tragic story that accompanies it. Pennsylvania's collection of Civil War flags remains one of the single largest collections of Civil War colors in the nation and also contains twenty-two flags of the Spanish-American war.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | Among the museum's holdings is a large and important collection of Civil War materials, including flags, uniforms, firearms, swords, accoutrements, and soldiers' personal gear.