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Panel backs plan to preserve Indiana Civil War flags

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana Senate committee is backing a bill that would set aside $500,000 to help preserve some of the state’s Civil War battle flags.

The Veterans Affairs Committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the bill sponsored by Sen. Allen Paul of Richmond.

Committee Chairman Tom Wyss of Fort Wayne said the money would allow the Indiana War Memorial to have about 50 flags preserved.

The state’s some 400 battle flags are currently stored in a climate-controlled vault at the war memorial in Indianapolis. Executive Director Stewart Goodwin said the textiles deteriorate with age, and eventually the flags will reach a point when they can no longer be salvaged.

Conservation can cost thousands of dollars per flag and take up to a year.