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Restored Spanish-American War flag unveiled

The Wyoming State Museum unveiled a newly restored flag from the Spanish-American War on March 22, 2021 in Cheyenne, Wyo. Descendants of the soldiers from the 1st Wyoming Volunteer Infantry Battalion who served in the Spanish-American war in 1898 were in attendance at the small gathering. The Wyoming Army National Guard’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter, was also in attendance as the guest speaker.

Around 1,000 soldiers in the Wyoming National Guard were selected to serve in the Spanish-American War. The first federal mobilization in Wyoming’s history. In total, 125,000 volunteers were asked to serve in the war effort by President William McKinley.

The flag was presented to the soldiers on June 5, 1898, before they departed for the Philippines. Wyoming’s First Lady Harriet Alice Richards headed the effort to raise the funds to purchase the custom embroidered flag. It returned home with the soldiers upon conclusion of their service in September 1899.

The restoration process began in 2020 and was funded with a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. Because the flag is still susceptible to damage from light, it will not be on display for long periods of time. A documentary of the flag will be presented in its place when not on display.

“It was an incredible collaboration between so many players that led to this flag coming back to Wyoming,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter, the adjutant general for the Wyoming National Guard. “Those efforts speak to the heart of this State – when it matters, we always come together.”

The flag is on exhibit at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne, Wyo.