Contact: James Turner


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Save Our Flags

P.O. Box 782

Lebanon, TN 37088-0782


Photo Attachment Included

Picture Caption: Museum curator Dr. Candace Adelson inspects historic flag. Photo courtesy of Tennessee State Museum.


Conservation of Unique Civil War Flag

Headquarters Flag Of Confederate General John Adams


Franklin, Tennessee July 1, 2014


As the Battle of Franklin raged, Confederate General John Adams was felled by numerous bullets as he rode his horse into the Federal works. Among his effects that day was a unique brigade flag, and today the Save Our Flags Initiative has announced they are sponsoring its conservation.

Many historic items were donated to the Tennessee Historical Society after the American Civil War, and among those is Adams’s headquarters flag, which was donated in 1907 by the general’s widow. Currently maintained at the Tennessee State Museum, this flag finds itself in dire need of conservation. James Turner, chairman of the Save Our Flags Initiative, says that this flag is different from any he’s ever seen, and he’s glad to involve Save Our Flags in its conservation.  “The brigade flag of General Adams has risen to the top of the endangered list at the State Museum,” says Turner, “and with the 150th anniversary of the battle upcoming, we’re optimistic that this project will grab the attention of the public. Confederate originals such as this flag are rare, and we’re excited to help with a flag that went into the melee that was Franklin.”

Dr. Michael Bradley of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission added, “In this past year I've watched the Save Our Flags people lead the way for the conservation of the battle flag of the 14th Tennessee Infantry, the famous kepi of General Cleburne, and the Sam Davis overcoat. While other organizations are asking for money, it’s refreshing to see these folks volunteering to raise it.”

The Save Our Flags Initiative has raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to help conserve items preserved by the Tennessee Historical Society and Tennessee State Museum. “We care about these tangible heirlooms from our ancestors,” said Michael Beck, commander of the Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, “and we intend to do everything we can to be sure they remain intact for future generations.”

Meanwhile, the group is asking the public to let them know if they have any particular information on this flag, or its maker. “Records show that it was made by an unidentified Mississippi woman in 1863,” says Battle of Franklin historian David Fraley, “but we know little beyond that, and would like to hear from anyone with more details. Because we know that brigade flags were carried forward at this particular battle, an educated guess would be that this flag was unfurled in the midst of the fighting.”

The estimated cost of the flag’s conservation is $6,500, and the Save Our Flags Initiative typically relies on small donations to conserve these items. “People often say that they’d like to be involved in things like this,” said Turner, “and because every penny donated goes toward conservation, even a ten dollar donation makes a big difference.”

The Save Our Flags Initiative is an outreach of the Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and its sole purpose is to help conserve endangered flags and textiles from the War Between the States. Founded in 1896, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is a genealogical, non-profit organization of over 30,000 descendants of Confederate soldiers.


If you’d like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with James Turner, please call James Turner at 615-335-6944 or by emailing at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Museum curator Dr. Candace Adelson inspects flag