I recently learned that a First National Flag of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars, is being held captive in Boscobel, Wisconsin. The flag was captured during the first day of battle near Gettysburg in 1863 by Private Richard Huftil, and has since been known as the “Huftil Flag.”
During the course of one hundred and forty-six years, the flag has been passed from the Grand Army of the Republic, to the Women’s Relief Corp, to the Grant County Historical Society. It has been on display at Boscobel’s G.A.R. Hall, one of only three that still remain in the upper Midwest.
There has been controversy surrounding the flag for many years. The Preservationist Society is concerned that if the flag is returned to its rightful owners, i.e. the Sons of Confederate Veterans, harm will come to the county’s historical preservation in the way of their “heritage, traditions, and tourism.” Although I see their point and understand their concern, the bottom line still is this: the flag belongs to the SCV, so give it back! (We are finding out about more flags that are still up North as well, so I’ll keep you posted.)