Antique flags do not have to have expensive storage treatment. For flags that are not in the highest catagory of historical importance, the simplest, most effective method is box storage. Go to a good stationery, framing or musuem supply store and get a good size archival quality ("acid-free") box and some acid-free tissue paper. Wad some of the tissue loosely and place it in the center of the laid out flag. Loosely fold the flag around the tissue trying to avoid creases. Add more tissue wads as needed. Place the flag in the box with tissue around it, and don't forget to tape an envelope on the top containing copies of all the pertinent documents, including your own recollection of aquiring the flag and what you think of it. Be sure to date and sign everything.
If you have the space or the flag is small, flat storage is best. Just follow the instructions above but get a box big enough to house the flag (it may have to be made up special if the flag is large) and just lay it flat between some acid free tissue. This is the best method of storage.
Keep your flag in a dry, dark, cool space. Most closets are pretty decent places. Don't take it out too often but do enjoy it.
For more important flags, or for display, you should have the flag professionally mounted and framed using archival materials. Some framing companies can do this or you can go to experts in the field. Three I recommend are:
Spicer Art Conservation, LLC
Gwen Spicer, AIC
305 Clipp Road
Delmar NY 12054
Textile Preservation Associates
Cathy L. Heffner, President
105 Topper Avenue
Ranson WV 25438
196 Old Warner Rd
Bradford NH 03221
Whatever you do, here's what you should NOT do:
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
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