During a recent trip to Mason City, Iowa, my husband and I attended a Civil War encampment and reenactment. While talking to some of the guys who sponsored the event, we discovered that Iowa still has in its possession a Confederate flag from the 17th Mississippi. The flag was captured at Gettysburg.
In 1905, Grover Cleveland signed into law a bill requiring the return of Confederate flags. However, many northern states failed to abide by the law, not just Iowa, whose reason for keeping the flag is because it draws tourists to the state's capital. The flag is in disrepair, and hasn't been on display for quite some time. It will cost approximately $5-10,000 to restore it. Thus, the flag has been stashed away and forgotten until now.
My husband, Dave, is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This came about after I wrote my book, and he became interested in his heritage. Upon further research, he discovered that his great-great grandfather was a Confederate interpreter for the Cherokees under Nathan Bedford Forrest. Dave's commanding officer was so excited about his finding the flag that he had him announce it at their monthly meeting. Now they are in the process of procuring the flag, which holds profound significance for them, as their ancestors fought under that flag. It's funny how all this has come about. I wrote the book = Dave found his ancestor = he joined the SCV and found out about the missing flag = we went to Mason City, Iowa, where my sister lives = we found the missing flag. Strange how one thing leads to another, and it all eventually comes full circle, even though, in this case, it has taken a hundred and forty-six years!